Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is going otterly crazy as it celebrates the tenth birthday of one of its most popular residents.
The Southsea aquarium is planning a month of special events and activities to mark the milestone birthday of their trio of otters.
Asian short clawed otters Ralph, Patty and Selma were all born at the aquarium back in 2006.
For all three to now be celebrating their tenth birthdays is a major achievement and keepers decided it was such a special occasion they would extend the party for an entire month.
“We will of course be giving them their own birthday party on the day itself but we have also decided to dedicate all of May to celebrate not only Ralph, Patty and Selma but otters in general,” said Blue Reef Aquarium’s Hannah Butt.
‘Otter Month’ kicks off early on Saturday, April 30th with a free event at Southsea Library. Visitors will be able to listen in to storytelling, take part in arts and crafts and learn lots of interesting facts about the animals. The event will run from 11.30am-1.30pm and no booking is required.
On Saturday, May 7th the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be visiting the aquarium and showcasing the native wildlife on our doorstep; including wild otters.
The UK Wild Otter Trust is on site on Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th and will be able to provide expert information on UK otter conservation. As part of the event local wildlife lover Daphne Neville will also be bringing along her tame otter for visitors to meet.
On May 21st author and otter expert Daniel Allen will be coming down to give talks and provide first-hand information on otters and the work being done to help protect them. He will also have copies of his book ‘Otter’ that customers can get signed.
The New Forest Wildlife group will also be attending with crafts and a badge machine.
The otters and their keepers will be celebrating their actual birthday with some special treat and presents on May 23rd and throughout May the aquarium will also be running a selection of different arts and crafts’ sessions; each with an otter-related theme.