DOWNTOWN – The construction of the brand-new St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is still on track to be completed by its late December opening date. This means that hundreds of thousands of animals, including a family of otters, will be making their way to the metro St. Louis area.
Three North American river otters will be calling the new, state-of-the-art facility home, and now the aquarium wants your help in naming their new furry friends.
On Monday morning, the aquarium announced that they would be hosting an otter naming contest.
There are three sets of names to choose from, based on the characteristics of each otter. Voters can head to the aquarium’s official Facebook page to cast their ballots.
Those name groups include Splish, Splash and Dash, based on their behaviors; Hopper, Zephyr and Harvey, based on trains in St. Louis history; and Thatcher, Sawyer and Finn, based on Mark Twain literature.
Keep in mind that the otters, 9 months old, are a group of siblings: two females and one male. There’s a big sister, a middle sister and a baby brother.
As mentioned in the Facebook post, little brother has big feet, a big nose and is eager to learn. The middle sister always plays peacemaker and is easily distracted when her habitat is being cleaned. Lastly, big sister is always in charge, and she loves to swim.
The three otters are originally from Flamingo Gardens in Florida, where they were born and raised.
The family isn’t set to arrive at their new aquarium home until later this fall. They’re currently being housed at the World Bird Sanctuary, where they’re keeping busy with different training sessions.
“We’re just so excited to get ourselves open in December of this year, get the otters here in their new habitat,” Animal Care Manager Kat Echevarria said. “I know that they will totally love the habitat that’s going to have all kinds of different substrates and fun things for them to do in here, a waterfall, a slide and a pool and everything else.”
“We’re excited to get our guests in here to the St. Louis Aquarium to enjoy them, too,” she said.
Voting is open until Monday, Sept. 23.
The 120,000-square-foot, two-story aquarium boasts a total of 44 different animal exhibits, with more than 250 species.