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Otters Make Themselves at Home

After about 6 months in their new exhibit, Chaos and Mayhem are thriving.

Jan. 7, 2019 - It's been about six months since the grand opening of the river otters exhibit at the Aquarium, and its residents Chaos and Mayhem are thriving in their new environment.

Since their move, keepers say the two are displaying new behaviors. Mayhem is stripping leaves from exhibit plants for denning, a natural otter behavior. The otters also dig in dirt around the exhibit, another natural behavior.

Otter Mayhem with Trainer Matt, 2018The otters seem to be comfortable with their human visitors too. "They’re aware of the public looking at them," said keeper Maddie Gandara. "Both Mayhem and Chaos are very curious and will stand up to look at people or turn towards them."

Chaos, who had been known for her shy behavior, has come out of her shell since coming to her new home. She's now comfortable lying on the ledge by the window, running around and wrestling with Mayhem, and swimming right up to the window underwater. According to her keepers, she is showing more of her personality on exhibit instead of being shy or staying out of sight.

Keepers say the two love to sun bathe and sleep on the window ledge above their pools as well as swim and play in the pool. Sometimes they pick out rocks from the exhibit and bring them into the pool as a play prop (they dive down to grab them, swim with them on their nose, and hold them with their paws). The two also enjoy running up and down the slide in their exhibit.

"We really enjoy sharing their training with the public," said keeper Ashley Baca. "It’s nice to see them exhibit natural behaviors. They're definitely happy and loving their new exhibit." She added, "We’re happy to see Chaos coming out of her shell and playing with Mayhem on exhibit."

Otters at the Aquarium

River otters Chaos and Mayhem.