MEDICINE PARK, Okla. (KFOR) — He’s not bashful about eating.
His name is Dean. He’s a young North American River Otter very excited about a baggy full of roast beef, chicken, and fish.
“They’re adorable,” says animal handler Nicole Rowe. “And they’re smart. And they’re energetic. And they’re persistent.”
There is another otter in this enclosure too.
“He reminds me of a domestic cat,” chuckles Doug Kemper, Director of the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center.
Staff here call him Sam. He eats plenty as well, but on his own time.
“He’s very food driven,” suggests Rowe.
The otter pair came from a facility in Ohio about three weeks ago.
For most of the past two years, Kemper has been planning and building this habitat for them.
“This is the viewing, main viewing area,” he points out. “Water overflows from a big pond to our right, and down that slide stream, and into that lower pond. Then we have an underwater view.”
Over the past few days, they’ve been able to explore their new living quarters. The door opens on a new world to explore.
Kemper says they both love to test the limits of their enclosure.
“I says he’s kind of like a five-year-old with a hammer,” says Kemper. “The other one is very bashful and shy.”
Workers might put in a few more safeguards and plant more cattails. Dean has already trampled the first ones landscapers planted.
But aquarium staffers figure their new otter home is ready for more visitors.
An animal famous for cuteness, and sense of play, offers lots of room for both, and room for plenty of people to watch.
The Medicine Park Aquarium’s new otter exhibit opened March 6, 2020 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by sponsors from the McCasland Foundation in Duncan.
You can find out more about the aquarium on its Facebook page.
‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.