Three Long Island Aquarium otters move to Utah

01/04/2012 5:45 PM |

LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM COURTESY PHOTO | Three of Long Island Aquarium’s North American river otters get ready to move west to Utah’s The Living Planet Aquarium.

Three of the North American River Otters born to parents PB&J at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead are leaving their birth home today.

Cinnamon, Pepper, and Cocoa will be transferred to The Living Planet Aquarium in Utah where they will be part of a larger exhibit.

“We will definitely miss their energy and playfulness, but we know that all three brothers will be staying together and entertaining guests at another facility,” said senior mammal trainer Candyce Paparo. “We are sad to see them go, but know that our current exhibit is regulated for a certain number of animals. We also want to prevent breeding with relatives and to help maintain a healthy captive gene pool in aquarium facilities.”

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, where the otters were born, is home to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, New York’s only authorized marine mammal and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center.

The Living Planet Aquarium, where the brothers are moving, is one of Utah’s most popular and unique attractions. They have, among their exhibits, a plethora of wildlife including sharks, octopus, eels, sea horses, and amphibians. Because Utah is a land-locked state, the aquarium proves a unique venue for people to interact with marine creatures.

Atlantis GM Bryan DeLuca said he wished “to commend our husbandry staff that worked countless hours and showed outstanding dedication in caring for these otters.”

gvolpe@timesreview.com