ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They’ve been living at the Rio Grande Zoo for a while, but most haven’t seen these adorable creatures until now.
Two River Otters are living in a restricted part of the zoo. KRQE News 13 got a chance to meet them.
“We received them in May” said one of the otter trainers, Ashley Baca.
Their names are Chaos and Mayhem. They’re both two wild female otters from Louisiana.
“They were feeding off of shrimp at a farm in Louisiana and it was kind of an issue with the owners, because they were cutting into their stock,” said Baca.
Since they’re wild, there’s still a lot of work to do before they make their official debut.
“We started bonding with them, spending time with them, getting them used to our voices,” said Baca.
The public also can’t meet them until their exhibit is built at the Albuquerque aquarium. It’s set to include several viewing areas and a tank that holds 30,000 gallons of water.
“It’s one of the many many things you’ll start seeing with this new master plan that we have for the zoo and BioPark,” said Mayor Richard Berry.
“They’re very playful, which is awesome, so I think people will really enjoy watching them play and having fun in their exhibit.”
Their trainer said they’ve already come a long way, learning their names and playing with toys.
“Otters are very smart and they’re also fun and curious so we do a lot of enrichment with them every day,” said Baca.
They even have their own personalities. Chaos is more shy and reserved. Baca said Mayhem is adventurous.
The otters also spin in circles, jump through hoops and even slide down a slide with their trainers.
Bernalillo County is footing most for the bill for the exhibit. Zoo officials said they hope it will be finished in a year.