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River Otters

Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:17 pm
by Betty Felon

Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 3:16 am
by Liesbeth
does that one otter look dopey or what?
the other one could have done what it wanted, not just hold hands, and it just wouldn't have cared.

sorry if i'm spoiling anyone's 'how cute' moment, I'm a bit cynical about animals in zoos at the moment. Last weekend a male gorilla escaped in the Rotterdam zoo and seriously injured a woman. Turns out, she had visited the zoo a couple of times a week for ages and apparently thought she was really bonding with this gorilla. The gorilla however just felt frustrated because, being the leader of the group, here was a female who stared at him blatantly without showing the proper respect. Bottomline: these are animals, not people.

but yeah, river otters are cute.

Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:56 am
by John
That's a video of Jonathan and Nabil on their bath day.

Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:29 pm
by dianna
My boyfriend sent me the link a few weeks ago like, "look how cute!" but I couldn't believe it went on for a minute and a half. Is it really that cute? Is my heart dead, or something?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:51 am
by Squid
Liesbeth, are you disppointed in the gorilla who felt disrespected or the woman doing the disrespecting? they were both out of line, if you ask me.

For some reason, that video reminds me of a photo Defamer ran yesterday of Ron Jeremy asleep on an airplane...hmm.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:13 am
by sour29
Who goes to the zoo a few times a week? That's what I want to know.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:31 am
by kaiden
Liesbeth wrote:Bottomline: these are animals, not people.


I know plenty of people who would do the same thing...

I have no use for zoos unless they house and attempt to repopulate endangered species. Even then I wish they could all get their revenue elsewhere and not have to make it a spectacle for the masses. Regrettably, it's an unrealistic hope.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:04 am
by Betty Felon
really? I like zoos. They educate people enormously and create a desire to learn in children. I love to walk around and just marvel at the sheer VARIETY of life on this planet, the strange shapes and behavior of creatures.

Yes, people often don't understand what animal behaviors mean. But I don't think human curiosity or the urge to identify with animals is a necessarily this horrible thing.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:49 am
by Squid
Yer right, Ms. Felon, it isn't, at all. I seem to recall there being incredible similarities between body language in humans and certain primates, no? The difference being that as humans, we're frequently forced to make nice with people we don't like.* Whereas, there's no guessing when a gorilla doesn't like you, mostly because you're missing an arm afterwards. I admire that.

Note to self: behave more like a gorilla at shows. Only with booze.

*Damn you, capitalism!

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:37 am
by Moni
Betty Felon wrote:really? I like zoos. They educate people enormously and create a desire to learn in children. I love to walk around and just marvel at the sheer VARIETY of life on this planet, the strange shapes and behavior of creatures.


Me too! One the hand hand I think most animals shouldn't be held in captivity, on the other hand I'm so grateful the Vienna Zoo exists. They have mongooses for Christ sake! There are some animals I could watch for hours (By the way, the dwarf otters there seem to be glued together, too). Ever seen a lemur catta carrying a little one on her back and another one around her belly? Also, most animals at the zoo breed like mad, which is usually a sign that they feel comfortable in their homes and are being treated well. But yes, some of them might have a better life living in freedom.

As for your question, Jason, I don't go to the zoo every week, but quite frequently (I have a season ticket).

I'm not surprised tho the incident in Rotterdam was caused by a visitor. Some things I see at the zoo can really make you mad, like people knocking at the glass (or kids doing it and their parents just standing by and watching and smiling grrr), using flash when they're taking pictures etc.
And there are some wild animals you just should not try to bond with. I bet most people still think that Siegfried and Roy were actually able to "bond" with their tigers?... That's also something I cannot stand, animals being (ab)used for stupid shows (circus!). As a more positive example, at Loro Parque in Tenerife, the dolphins and sea lions only have to take part in shows if they want to, if not, they can just stay in the other aquarium where no one can see them. And I couldn't get rid of the feeling they were actually enjoying playing around at these shows...


Anyway, my vote regarding the river otter issue goes to Disturbingly Cute (taking John's post into consideration).

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:51 am
by Liesbeth
Squid wrote:Liesbeth, are you disppointed in the gorilla who felt disrespected or the woman doing the disrespecting? they were both out of line, if you ask me.

duh, of course the gorilla was out of line, but it was following its instincts.

but, however sorry i feel for the woman (whose arm in fact was not torn off, but broken in so many places it's terrible to even think about), she might have taken a little more interest in the animal she was so fond of visiting. She thought the gorilla was smiling at her, for fxxx's sake, but a monkey bares its teeth out of agression. She had even been asked to keep more distance.

In fact, she seems rather like a fan who thinks the singer sings all his songs for her. Only most singers don't weigh as much as a gorilla and don't bite their overbearing fans a 100 times, or sit on them.

I do like zoos, for the reasons Betty mentions. But with instant pest control for out-of-line kids, and severe punishing for parents who don't keep them in line. We have over 10 zoos in NL - which is madness, especially seeing how little space we have.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:55 pm
by kaiden
Betty Felon wrote:really? I like zoos. They educate people enormously and create a desire to learn in children. I love to walk around and just marvel at the sheer VARIETY of life on this planet, the strange shapes and behavior of creatures.

Yes, people often don't understand what animal behaviors mean. But I don't think human curiosity or the urge to identify with animals is a necessarily this horrible thing.


It's like the internet: even though its intentions are to be informative it ends up being primarily used for entertainment. I agree in principle that a zoo is meant to be educational; I just don't see it happening in practice. There are certainly plenty of arguments and research by notable sources both for and against the educational value of zoos and I simply tend to lean towards the against category.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:13 pm
by pas de nom
wonderful analogy with the internet.

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 3:10 am
by longtimecoming
John wrote:That's a video of Jonathan and Nabil on their bath day.



damn, i thought that was bart. courtney love in a guerilla suit? damn, aol news! once they found a forest of undiscovered animals AND the red coloring in food is made by beetles!

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:27 am
by grant
The Tlingit Kooshda.

The indigenous people of southwest Alaska warned of creatures called kooshda, or "land otters":

The Kooshda (kû'cta-qa) are the dreaded and feared Land Otter People, human from the waist up, and otter-like below. Land otters are excellent fishers. Those who are drowned often marry (and become) land otters, and land otters can assist in drownings. Land otters are sinister and potentially harmful. When properly controlled, however, the land otter can be of great help to humans, such as fishermen who penetrate the sacred realm beyond social boundaries. Those drowned and married to land otters (and their land otter children) can return to their human relations and assist them, usually by helping them catch abundant supplies of seafood. The land otters can make human children grow tails; they can only eat raw food, for if they eat cooked fish they will die; and as supernatural beings, after being out on the water they must regain land and find shelter before the raven calls or they will die.

Those that drown and are saved by the Kooshda are known as Kooshdakhaa. They live with the Kooshda, but because they were once human, they travel back to their old communities now and again. Except now, as Kooshdakhaa, they have the power to sway people's minds and shape shift.


Not that I would dare insinuate anything.

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:39 pm
by Unremarkable
I work at a zoo and I get to see the river otters there at least once a week. They never fail to be enthralling.

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:05 pm
by A Brutaful Smile
i wore my "I'm not a beaver, I'm an otter" shirt to the show on the 5th but i didn't have anyone run up to me and say "i get the connection!" unfortunately i never made it to a show when that whole topic was relevant because i bet someone would have got it then.

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:05 pm
by Betty Felon
OK, I have an otter story. Once at the baltimore aquarium, we got to the otter tank just as it was closing, but the aquarium workers let us in just for a minute.

We walk in, and I swear the otters were up on the rocks together, eating dinner and laying around, barely moving.

The minute they saw us, however, they were like, "Oh shit! I thought the day was over! Back to work!" and they jumped into the water and started floating around, swimming, being generally adorable.

It was like catching Krusty the clown backstage smoking and complaining. Those river otters, I am telling you, that cuteness is all a show. Performers.

Re: River Otters

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:43 pm
by leigh
In my brain, there is now a neuron directly connecting TLW and otters...some new images:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleys/this-is-otterly-cute-516?w=1

Re: River Otters

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:07 pm
by Betty Felon
leigh wrote:In my brain, there is now a neuron directly connecting TLW and otters...some new images:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleys/this-is-otterly-cute-516?w=1


that is heart-stoppingy cute. I can feel my heart go all melty.