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Tennessee Aquarium is Adding Otters
For more than 20 years North American River Otters have been one of the Tennessee Aquarium’s top attractions . Their agility and athleticism, both in and out of the water, captivates visitors leaving them wanting more.
“If you go through the Cove Forest and the otters are out scampering around and swimming, guests are delighted with the experience,” said Jackson Andrews, the Aquarium’s director of husbandry and operations. “It’s still very nice strolling through that forest surrounded by a gorgeous variety of plants while enjoying the birds, fish and reptiles, but the impact is not the same if the otters are asleep. A dramatic otter exhibit is something people have really wanted.”
Think of the new Cove Forest exhibit as otters times three.
Three times more otters – River otters are most active around sunrise and sunset, which are not optimal viewing times for guests. Four new otters will be added to the two that currently call the Aquarium home, enabling all six to rotate on and off exhibit in various groupings throughout the day. When one group is ready for a mid-day nap, another group will be ready to play and explore their new surroundings. “We’re going to create an exhibit that’s a more enriching environment for the otters, giving them more opportunities to show off their boisterous sides,” said Andrews.
Three times more land – Otters are terrestrial animals that swim in the water. Guests will still be able to see the remarkable way these furry critters use their paws and tails to twist and turn underwater, but the redesigned space will give the otters more opportunities to lope along a multi-tiered landscape.
“There’s more shoreline so they can jump in and out of the water and playfully tussle with one another,” said Andrews. “The terrain of the exhibit will also feature various pools, a couple of waterfalls and natural substrate they can dig in and explore.” Behind the scenes there will be more space to care for and train the otters.
Three times more viewing – When visitors enter the redesigned Cove Forest, they’ll be drawn in by the expansive view of the new otter exhibit. It will stretch from where the stairs to the overlook are currently located to the waterfalls near the trout stream.
“We’ve spent a lot of time considering ways to maximize the existing space to enhance sightlines and viewing angles,” said Andrews. “We will nearly triple the length of the viewing panels so more guests will be able to see the otters simultaneously. And instead of looking down most of the time, you’ll have more chances to see them face-to-face.”
The Aquarium’s otters are “on vacation” to meet their new Cove neighbors at another facility. The birds have been moved to other exhibits and the trout and other fish from the Cove are temporarily being held at the Aquarium’s Animal Care Facility.
The trout, visible from the River Journey Canyon, will be back on exhibit around Thanksgiving. By mid-April 2014 the birds and other fish will be on exhibit, ready for the otters return to the Cove Forest. After an acclimation period, the new otter exhibit will be ready for visitors at the beginning of May. In the meantime, a new route minimizes the impact for guests who benefit from additional animal engagement programs. Visitors may apply their admission toward Aquarium membership to be among the first to experience the new otter exhibit.
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Last Update on November 26, 2014 14:43 GMT
"DANCING WITH THE STARS"-ALFONSO WINS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The long wait is over for Alfonso Ribeiro. The "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" co-star says he's wanted to be on "Dancing With the Stars" since it went on the air nearly 10 years ago. Ribeiro not only made it onto the show, he's the new champ. The winner was crowned at the conclusion of last night's season finale. It came down to Ribeiro and "Duck Dynasty" teen Sadie Robertson. Janel Parrish finished third. Ribeiro had the inside lane going into the finale. He had two sets of perfect scores from the judges on Monday's program and got another in the final dance on last night's show. Ribeiro had tears streaming down his cheeks and says he can't believe it. Dancing with the Stars will be back with its 10th anniversary season in the spring.
<<CUT ..001 (11/26/14)>> 00:32 ""
Jamie Friar, AP correspondent
"Dancing With the Stars" has a new champ. The AP's Jamie Friar watched as ABC's top rated reality show crowned the winner. ((opens with sound))
<<CUT ..002 (11/26/14)>> 00:24 "Alfonso and Whitney (cheers)"
Host Tom Bergeron announces the Season 19 winners. ((note length of cut)) ((cut used in wrap)) COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (11/26/14)>> 00:06 "what to say"
Alfonso Riberio, winner
Alfonso Riberio says he wanted to be on "Dancing With the Stars" since the show started nearly 10 years ago. ((longer version of cut in wrap)) COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (11/26/14)>> 00:13 "he deserves it"
Sadie Robertson, runner-up
Sadie Robertson says she can't believe she made it to the very end. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..005 (11/26/14)>> 00:09 "Alfonso and Whitney (cheers)"
Host Tom Bergeron hands the mirrorball trophy to the winners. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's two weeks in a row for Virginia college student Ryan Sill. He's been in the bottom three on "The Voice" for the last two weeks. But last night he was saved again by the instant Twitter vote. Reagan James and Anita Antoinette aren't so lucky. They were eliminated. Team Blake is now down to just one singer. Both Team Gwen and Team Pharrell have two apiece. Team Adam hasn't lost anyone since the Top 12 started performing live. He still has three singers in the running.
<<CUT ..006 (11/26/14)>> 00:34 ""
Excerpt of Ryan Sill, performing "Collide"
Excerpt of Ryan Sill performing "Collide." COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..007 (11/26/14)>> 00:12 "we love him (cheers)"
Gwen Stefani hopes viewers will want to keep Ryan Sill in the competition. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..008 (11/26/14)>> 00:07 "representing Team Gwen (cheers)"
Host Carson Daly announces the results of the instant Twitter vote. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
BILL COSBY'S PHILANTHROPY COMES INTO QUESTION
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Even the places where Bill Cosby made charitable donations are taking sides as he denies allegations he sexually assaulted several women. High Point University in North Carolina has removed Cosby from its board of advisers. The Berklee College of Music says it will no longer award an online scholarship in Cosby's name. However, no institutions have publicly renounced the tens of millions Cosby and his wife have donated over the years. Cosby gave $20 million to Spelman College in 1988, which was the largest donation at the time by a black donor to a historically black college. A Spelman spokeswoman says there have been no discussions about changes regarding Cosby's gift. Cosby and his wife have also made sizable donations to the Morehouse School of Medicine, the U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. Temple University says Cosby is still a trustee there.
SHIA LABEOUF CHECKS IN WITH COURT
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shia LaBeouf (SHY'-uh luh-BUF') was in a New York City court yesterday to show proof he's been in treatment after he disrupted a Broadway performance of "Cabaret" in June. LaBeouf appeared in court for a status hearing. He was arrested after he attended a performance of "Cabaret" and yelled at the actors, swore at security guards and smoked throughout. If he stays in treatment for at least three months and out of trouble for six, his case will be dismissed.
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