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Pete and Delmar Turn 2.
You "otter" celebrate with the Tennessee Aquarium.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2007) –

What: Celebrating the second birthdays of Pete and Delmar, two of the Aquarium’s three North American river otters.

Who: Senior Educator Amy Graves, along with Everett, Pete, Delmar and an aquarium full of other party animals.

When / Where: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 at 11 AM. We’ll celebrate in the Appalachian Cove Forest exhibit in the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Journey Building.

About “The Boys”:
Everett has been one of the Aquarium’s stars since opening in 1992, but he was beginning to slow down and nap a bit more until Pete and Delmar came along. Senior Educator Amy Graves says, “Adding Pete and Delmar was like introducing a couple of puppies to an older dog. The younger guys kind of woke Everett up and now he’s more energetic trying to keep up with the boys.” The three of them now put on a show, splashing and playing nearly non-stop. This playfulness really comes out when they have enrichment time. “Enrichment is a special play-time for the otters,” says Graves. “Otters spend a lot of time in the wild foraging for food, so we come up with playful ways for them to get tasty treats.” Have you ever seen a limber otter zoom through the water to get at a fish-cicle? Graves says the boys love to get a ball of ice with fish frozen inside. “They will push it through the water to melt the ice and nibble on the fish inside.” Enrichment comes in other fun forms as well. Just like other two year olds, otters love to play in the snow. So the last time it snowed a big bucket of the fresh white stuff was brought in for the boys who had a ball frolicking in their indoor winter wonderland. Graves has been “cooking” up a special birthday treat for the otters. Special krill cupcakes are being frozen for the boys with two smelt “candles” on top. “It should be pretty hilarious watching them chasing and eating their cupcakes,” smiles Graves.

More you "otter" know:
North American river otters face a number of environmental challenges today. They have suffered from fur trapping, water pollution and habitat destruction. Once common throughout the U.S. and Canadian lakes and streams, today North American river otters range is considerably smaller. Conserving wetlands and wooded areas along streams and rivers are top priorities. Working to reduce soil erosion and preventing fertilizers and pesticides from washing into streams are important measures, even where otters aren’t likely to visit. For example, soil particles washed into a stream can settle when they reach slow-moving water, covering the rock, sand, or gravel that some fish need to lay their eggs and raise young. Fewer fish means less food for otters. Fortunately in areas where otter conservation measures have been implemented, river otter populations have grown.

While the otters will enjoy their fishy cupcake treats; there will be birthday cake and Cove Forest coffee for their human friends in attendance.

To help celebrate the boys’ birthdays, visitors will receive a gift of a 10% discount on all otter merchandise inside the River Journey gift shop.

Downloadable images available at http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp

The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $22.95 for adults and $13.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.



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