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Aquatarium Otter Experience – These playful creatures will delight you!

aquatariumottersBrockville - One of the most entertaining “live” animal exhibits sure to capture the attention of all tourists and local residents will be the Aquatarium’s Otter Exhibit. Entry is gained either from the Lake Aquarium Tunnel or from Biosphere Hall.

The majority of the floor space is taken up by a glass-enclosed otter habitat on the 3rd floor complete with rocks, water, plants and trees. There will be at least two otters residing in the habitat. Central to the habitat will be a gazebo, which will act as the main platform from which visitors will view the otters. There are also two panels of glass from which visitors can view the otters, to the southwest and northeast of the gazebo.

The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent, found in and along its waterways and coasts. An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11 and 31 lb.). The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur.

The river otter, a member of the weasel family, is equally versatile in the water and on land. It establishes a burrow close to the water's edge in river, lake, swamp, coastal shoreline, tidal flat, or estuary ecosystems. The den has many tunnel openings, one of which generally allows the otter to enter and exit the body of water. Female otters give birth in these underground burrows, producing litters of one to six young.

…Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The north wall of the otter enclosure will be a large projection screen.  Located above the gazebo will be an LCD-DLP projector which will project a variety of video backgrounds onto the north wall.  The otter enclosure will be lit with ceiling-mounted theatrical lighting fixtures.  Inside the gazebo will be an interactive touchscreen kiosk with a form of audio playback.  This kiosk playback system will display a variety of interactive content that will inform visitors about several topics.  Depending on which content is playing (dependent on a blend of: time of day / otter requirements / viewer curiosity) visitors may learn about Otters, First Nations, Geology, etc.

The kiosk will allow visitors to change the content being displayed on the projection wall.  When the content of the projection wall is changed (either by visitor interaction or through a randomized timer) the lighting of the enclosure will change to match the projected image.

Visitor Takeaways: Takeaways here are both specific to the life of the River Otter and to the life of the river itself – which runs mere yards away. The multimedia mix of audio, video and interactive will immerse the visitor in the complexity of the river ecosphere. The opportunity to put the Otter alongside the stories of people, fish & ships will compel visitors to look at the River with new eyes.

The Aquatarium (formerly known as the Maritime Discovery Centre) is a $20 million, 27,000 square foot tourist attraction to be located on Brockville’s waterfront alongside the Tall Ships Landing condominium development.  The Aquatarium is a public-private partnership with the City of Brockville.