Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Brook led the good life. Being one of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s original sea otters back when it opened in 1998, Brook was treated like Royalty and became the Queen of the Northern Pacific Gallery. She is also one of the most beautiful otters in the State and seems to know it. The gorgeous otter that you see on ads across the country and on banners throughout the city is Brook. She’s always carried herself in a dignified manner. She’s even greeted her trainers at the door of the exhibit and escorted them into her Kingdom during training sessions like a hostess in a high society affair. Then the Furball entered her life! This week’s blog features a video on the relationship between the Stately Brook and the Tomboyish otter that I like to call the Furball.
The Furball was the first new otter to be introduced to the exhibit in a decade. When she was orphaned she lacked the skills necessary to be released back into the wild but was too old to be placed into a surrogate otter mother program where she may have learned those skills. However her short time at sea seemed to give her a more serendipitous attitude in an otter sort of way than the animals that were orphaned while days old like Brook who were hand raised by humans nearly from the start. She was a Country otter in an exhibit of Enhydra lutris Royalty.
When the Furball, by then given the name Maggie, was introduced to the older otter, she immediately turned Brook’s world upside-down. Brook was used to lording over the other female otter in the exhibit. However she found that this new critter looked upon her as a fellow otter playmate to roughhouse with rather than the matron of the exhibit. At first Brook seemed confused by this new otter’s playfulness. She wasn’t used to a female otter that constantly wanted to play. They seemed to be polar opposites. The Furball sported the darker head of a young otter which contrasted greatly with the regal white face of the courtly Brook. Eventually though Brook accepted the newcomer into her realm. She even taught the Furball the ways of a “Proper” otter like showing her how to cache clams and shrimp in the folds of her armpits for later enjoyment. The Furball’s energy seemed to bring back some of the playfulness in Brook that she had when she and Charlie, her longtime male exhibit mate, shared back when they were both young frisky otters when the Aquarium first opened. The relationship between the two females really seemed to benefit both of them.
Below is a video of Brook and the Furball done in the style of a movie trailer.
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