New river otter exhibit opens at Pine Grove Zoo

Ted, Dave and Dewie settle into Little Falls aquarium

Mary Schneider (left) and Bunny Tabott with her dog Dixie watch North American river otters Ted and Dave swim Monday, April 15, in the new Pine Grove Zoo exhibit in Little Falls. The new aquarium, which opened Monday for the season, features an acrylic tank and tunnel where the otters can be viewed safely. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video

Mary Schneider (left) and Bunny Tabott with her dog Dixie watch North American river otters Ted and Dave swim Monday, April 15, in the new Pine Grove Zoo exhibit in Little Falls. The new aquarium, which opened Monday for the season, features an acrylic tank and tunnel where the otters can be viewed safely. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video

North American river otters Ted and Dave swim in an acrylic aquarium Monday, April 15, at the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls, for the opening day of the zoo's season after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new exhibit. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video

North American river otters Ted and Dave swim in an acrylic aquarium Monday, April 15, at the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls, for the opening day of the zoo's season after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new exhibit. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video

LITTLE FALLS—It was not a madhouse of morning activity with the cold, but it was still a zoo.

The Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls opened for the season Monday, April 15, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for dignitaries at the zoo's new North American river otter exhibit.

"We have opened before with snow on the ground, unfortunately," Director Marnita Van Hoecke said before the small gathering, with temperatures in the 30s and under cloudy skies.

With their puppy dog eyes and facial hair, however, the playful and inquisitive creatures in the zoo aquarium easily attracted a crowd as they sliced through the water with grace and ease.

"Otters are a very unique animal, and they're very active, and so when we did some research and talked to other zoos, they said otters are one of their most popular animals because they're always busy and active," she said. "And it's native to this area, so we thought it would be a great addition to the zoo."

Two years in the making, the Pine Country Bank-named exhibit features three North American river otters—two of whom were on display at the ribbon-cutting ceremony while the third hid. 

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Source, image(s), credits & more: Brainerd Dispatch | Frank Lee