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Sea Life and Fire Service work together for otter enrichment programme

Date: 6th August, 2019

Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park invited members of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to launch their new otter feed experience, after working together on a new enrichment project.

Aquarists at the park recently approached the fire service for donations of used hose to create puzzles for the Asian Short-Clawed Otters and the Dorset team were very happy to support the project.

Following a thorough leaching of the hose, to remove traces of any toxic substances, the team at Weymouth SEA LIFE used the hose to forge puzzles for the clever otters at the park.

“Our Asian Short-Clawed Otters have very dextrous hands and are extremely good at solving puzzles,” said Alejandro Arraez, Displays Supervisor at the Weymouth Aquarium. “Giving them challenges to get to their food and treats is a great way to keep them stimulated and engaged. We’re very grateful to Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue for donating the hose – it will be well used to create enrichment for our otters, as well as our seals and penguins at the park.”

The team at Weymouth SEA LIFE are always looking for new and innovative ways to enrich the lives of the creatures in their care and used the donation to create box puzzles, a raft, and a climbing frame with hose ‘pockets’ for the otters to explore.

“The otters were keen to climb the frame and forage for food in the pockets and boxes, but were much more cautious with the raft we put in the water,” added Alejandro. “But they persevered and, with time, they eventually made it over to their treats.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Station Manager, James Plumley, who is responsible for Weymouth and Portland Fire Stations added: “It’s been great to visit Weymouth SEA LIFE and see the otters using the fire hose for their enrichment. The SEA LIFE team have done a great job in recycling it into puzzles and we are always looking for ways to keep the hose out of landfill, when it comes to the end of its working life, to protect the environment.”


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