We are very proud of our newest exhibit: Trouble Maker's Cove! But we also realize that when you introduce something new to people and they are going to have questions about it. So our Assistant Director, Matt Fouts, took to facebook live to answer some of the most pressing questions we've been getting on our social media outlets! You can still find the video on our facebook page if you wish to watch it: HERE! The other option is to read the transcribed version of the 8 questions about Trouble Maker's Cove that you wanted to know! Okay, let's get started.
1. Why doesn't your albino alligator move a whole lot?
She does move. So from time to time you will see her in different places. She does have some favorite spots she likes to hang out in. Alligators in general don't move a lot, just in general they are pretty lazy. They do move and swim around, but usually to hunt their food. Since Luna is well taken care of, she gets fed as frequently as she needs to be, so for the most part she is able to just take it easy. There really isn't much of a reason for her to move around a lot so she just doesn't.
2. How many animals are in Trouble Maker's Cove?
Right now we have Luna the albino alligator, we have 2 Asian small claw otters, and then we have 37 African Penguins in the cove. Also, and this is exciting, we’ve had 3 baby chicks this year, 2 are in the nursery currently and the other is behind the scenes so that will make our penguin count 40 once we get those little ones in the cove.
3. Are you going to be getting more otters?
We definitely are. We have to females right now, we are searching for a male because we would definitely want to breed this species. So eventually we hope to get some more otters.
4. Why did you put these specific animals together?
They’re all aquatic animals so they all fit pretty well together. Plus, all these animals are trouble makers. If you get to know the penguins, or if you do any of our behind the scenes or meet and greet experiences you’ll learn that the penguins all have a unique personality and a lot of them like to make trouble or just don’t like doing what you would expect. The otters are especially trouble makers! They’re into everything, they like to run around, they will find different ways to hide, and just make trouble. They’re always into something. As for Luna, the way I figured it, if you ever were to meet her face to face you would find yourself in a bit of trouble. So the three species together made a great exhibit called Trouble Maker’s Cove!
5. What all is involved in a penguin swim?
Put simply you get to go in the pool and swim with the penguins. You get to go in for 30 minutes and while you’re in you will be joined by 2 or 3 penguins and a keeper as well. While you’re in the pool the penguins will swim around you, you can pet them, and sometimes they’ll poke at your clothing a little. It’s an awesome experience and to my knowledge we’re the only place in North America that lets you swim with our penguins! If you are wanting to set up a penguin swim of your own you can check out the wildly different experiences on our website!
6. What are your otters names?
We have 2 girls and they are Audrey and Charlotte. So they have pretty classic names.
7. Where are the otters at? I visited the park and I couldn’t find the otters in their exhibit.
Like I said they are trouble makers. Within a day of being on their new exhibit they dug not 1 but 2 separate holes where they like to hide and take naps. So if you get first thing in the morning they like to run around and play, but then they like to naps they go into these holes for that. Otters only have 2 speeds either they’re asleep or they’re going crazy! Unfortunately a lot of people didn’t get a chance to see the otters because they found those spots, but we are working on different ways to fix that. We thought about making them a special log that will allow them to take their naps but they’ll still be visible to the public. We’ve talked about giving them access to their indoor area so that they can take naps in there but still be visible from the inside of Trouble Maker’s Cove. We are also adding shade and other things to the exhibit, throughout the year we going to continue to make enhancements to that exhibit to try and accommodate the public, because the otters are a lot of fun and we want everyone to be able to see them. They are always finding new ways to make our lives interesting. If you didn’t get to see the otters we’re sorry, but we are working on it and you will definitely get to see them at some point.
8. Do we ever get to interact with the otters?
That is something that we are working on. We are hoping to do an otter feeding at some point, kind of like how we do hippo feeding or rhino feeding so it will be timed. So you would probably get 1 or 2 chances to feed them each day and you would get to feed them fish. But it’s a brand new exhibit, we have to get them acclimated to the exhibit, then we will have to get them acclimated to eating in that particular spot, and the eventually we can add the public. Hopefully by the end of the year that’s something we will be able to achieve, but as far as a timeline goes I don’t know when it will happen. That is definitely something we want to do, as well as adding a penguin feeding. We want to be able to do penguin feeding soon because we think that would be a pretty awesome experience as well.
So in all, Trouble Maker’s Cove is a very awesome new experience! It’s definitely our largest expansion yet. We’re super excited about it, especially since it’s already impacting our breeding program with the three baby chicks. It was definitely a good move for the benefit of the endangered species. We hope you will all come out to see the new exhibits! Have a great day!