ENDANGERED GIANT RIVER OTTERS FIND NEW HOME AT MOODY GARDENS
Moody Gardens Becomes One of Six Zoos & Aquariums in United States to House Giant River Otters
Galveston Island, TX (Jan. 1, 2011) – Animals to be housed in the newly enhanced Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens this May are making their way to Galveston, including a group of endangered Giant River Otters that arrived at Moody Gardens in December. The three female otters – whose species is native to Brazil – are among about 30 Giant River Otters being kept in the United States, according to the International Species Information System.
With the new Giant River Otters, Moody Gardens became one of six zoo and aquarium facilities in the country to house these unique creatures. The young otters came to Moody Gardens by way of the Philadelphia Zoo.
“The Giant River Otters are a great addition to the Rainforest Pyramid, and we are excited to be among the few facilities in the country to have this amazing animal,” said Greg Whittaker, animal husbandry manager at Moody Gardens. “They are very intelligent and curious animals that I’m sure Moody Gardens guests will enjoy watching.”
The otters are between two and three years old and weigh about 60 pounds each. They will be on exhibit at Moody Gardens in May and will be the focus of a new exhibit at the Rainforest Pyramid, which is currently undergoing a $25 million enhancement. The Giant River Otter exhibit was specially designed to house the active otter trio; it features a sandy river bank with a complex waterfall feature as well as an area that will allow guests to watch training sessions. Guests will view the Giant River Otter Exhibit from a new tree-top canopy-level entrance to the Rainforest Pyramid.
Rainforests of the World at the completely redesigned Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid will feature a unique two-level experience that allows guests to explore the rainforests of the world from both the ground and the sky. The newly enhanced attraction will include exciting new exhibits as well as more than 1,000 species of exotic plants and animals.
About Giant River Otters
The Giant River Otter is the world's largest, at approximately 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. These huge members of the weasel family swim by propelling themselves with their powerful tails and flexing their long bodies. They also have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water.
The Rainforest Pyramid will re-open May 28, 2011. For more information call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org.
Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.