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Create a way for spotted-necked otters to pass through exhibits

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by ottercat, 5 Sep 2014.

  1. ottercat

    ottercat New Member

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    We are promoting more institutions to work with spotted-necked otters. They need attention, are a great species to work with, and will be dropped from U.S. zoos if we don't get more institutions to step up! We need creative ideas!

    Design a way that this small, charismatic species could be included in African exhibits of compatible species (small primates, hoofstock, large birds, etc.) and move through them via a shared waterway. Need to have a night housing option for them, primary feeding stations, appropriate containment, training stations. Be creative.
     
  2. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Are you talking about some particular existing exhibit or probable planned exhibits?

    Otters could be realistically incorporated into existing hoofstock paddock with water moat, by fencing the side of the paddock into the holding area of otters. I guess there might be a need of minor redevelopment of the lower part of perimeter fence and moat wall. It may be done by smooth concrete or plastic panels, or possibly a strand of electirfied wire on top of the fence. There is also a possibility of semi-circular metal overhang, like used in Maungatautari reserve in New Zealand against cats climbing in. And possibly, a filtration system could be installed in the moat. Otters would then have a run into the whole exhibit. Even if they don't stay in the moat but wander around the land area it should be interesting for visitors to see.

    Zoo Basel has a new exhibit mixing short-clawed otters with indian rhinos. Otters climb on bathing rhinos etc.

    If you want to restrict otters to part of the exhibit, it could be done by building a small sloping trench/moat/haha with a vertical wall maybe 1,2 m(?) high. Otters would then have access to water plus part of the land.

    In smaller aviaries, I would add a separate holding area for otters outside the existing structure.

    Also, I remember some very cool structure from some Japanese zoo, where small-clawed otters basically swim inside a thick plexiglass pipe going from the pool through the public area. The pipe is competely filled with water. Otters dive, swim into the public area, swim in this tank between visitors, then swim back to resurface.

    There are also some zoos which build underpasses under public paths, so animals from one exhibit can visit another exhibit across the visitor path. Perhaps a thick metal pipe would be suitable for it (thick enough for a man to crawl through, just in case, or you may move the problem otter with a broom or water hose.).

    Hope given you some ideas. :)
     
  3. ottercat

    ottercat New Member

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    thanks for the ideas, I like them, and the exhibit references.

    I hope to link up with someone who has some drawing skills to put ideas like you expressed to paper. Would like to collaborate on writing an article to promote the idea of thinking large for small carnivores. thinking let them move around through space, surprise the visitors who have to look to find them. Surprise the visitors with seeing something unexpected in what so often is a boring hoofstock exhibit and introduce them to the natural world as it really exists in the wild. Multiple species utilizing the same space in different ways; avoiding each other but co-existing.

    Want to spark a few people to think bigger, different, and better while at the same time allowing a little known species access to more world attention.
     
  4. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

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    Jacksonville Zoo's Land of the Tiger exhibit allows Asian Small-Clawed Otters to traverse between Babirusa and Visayan Warty Pig enclosures. Perhaps a similar design could allow Spotted-Necked Otters to traverse between enclosures containing animals such as Red River Hogs and monkeys (like swamp monkeys or guenons).
    Would it be feasible to have Spotted-Necked Otters able to share an exhibit with Pygmy Hippos? It would be a wonderful sight to see hippos and otters sharing the same pool and perhaps interacting with each other under the water.
     
  5. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  6. ottercat

    ottercat New Member

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    Yes, I am the J. Reed-Smith who edited it. Thanks though for sending the link, happy people are using the OZ Task Force link.

    I too have thought of having them pass through hippo exhibits, had not thought of pygmy hippos though. Interesting idea. I have not worked with them in years; aren't they actually a little more aggressive than Nile hippos? As long as exhibit pools are large enough, with visual/hiding barriers might work with both species.
     
  7. cloudedleopard

    cloudedleopard Well-Known Member

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    Glass tunnels

    Maybe a glass water-filled tunnel a few feet above the ground would work. Supports would make the tunnel stay. The tunnel should be long and tall enough for spotted-necked otters.
     
  8. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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