After months away, the two river otters of the Thompson Park Zoo in Watertown, New York are back in town.
Father and son otters Otis and Ricky are just a few weeks from going onto exhibit, and zoo staff are seeing signs of enthusiasm from the pair as they became reacquainted with their surroundings.
The otters were previously kept at The Wild Center, in Tupper Lake, as repairs and upgrades took place at their home exhibit, ranging from the installation of new filters, to the delivery of a new glass sheet, which should be installed by Saturday, according to Lesley Clark, the zoo’s director of operations. The pond in the exhibit was completely resurfaced after leaks were discovered.
“If you don’t have quality products, it’s not going to last long,” she said.
A new off-exhibit holding area has been set up with a new drainage system, expanded space for the otters and heating elements that will allow the otters to stay at the zoo year-round.
The repair work at the exhibit has led to an increase of interest from visitors about when the fan favorites would return.
“All we have heard is ‘When are the otters coming back?’” Ms. Clark said. “We’re excited to see them.”
Ms. Lyndaker said the otters’ social nature has made them beloved by many visitors.
“They’ll come right up to the glass and look at kids, and look at them through the fence,” she said. “They’re always running around, splashing in their pool. They’re very interactive, very fun to watch.”
Thank-you YouTubeChannel Watertown Daily Times for the cute otter video.
The project cost about $35,000, after volunteer labor and donated materials cut about $10,000 from the cost of the renovations. Among the major donors noted by Ms. Clark was Carthage Savings and Loan, which contributed $25,000 to the project.
River otters have historically been found in all watersheds in New York, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The animals primarily eat fish, but have been known to also eat amphibians and crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates when available.
Happy Ottersday :#)