Aug 26, 2011

Aquaria KLCC New Attractions

Mischievous baby otters and octopus star attractions at Aquaria KLCC
By S. Puspadevi
Friday August 26, 2011

IT WAS absolutely sheer enjoyment to watch baby otters playing with one another in a tank specially built to fit its habitat.

Children, particularly, were amazed to watch these mammals actively teasing and playing with animal trainers of Aquaria KLCC. If you are one who loves marine and wildlife, you simply should not miss this opportunity and worthwhile experience as Aquaria takes you on a journey through water to discover the fascinating nature of equatic life as well as exploring the individual behaviour of animals and crawly creatures.

Aquaria KLCC now has four baby otters and an octopus as its main attraction. Its managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Simon Foong took the writer on a personal tour of this marine and wildlife adventure focusing on the introduction of new baby otters and the pacific octopus.

Hello there: Foong introducing a baby otter at Aquaria KLCC.
Hello there: Foong introducing a baby otter at Aquaria KLCC.

Parents of baby otters, five-year-old Cinta (male) and three-year-old Manja (female) were given to Aquaria KLCC by Zoo Negara a few years ago. Another friend of Cinta and Manja is Olly, a male otter, aged one. It has also learnt mischevious tricks from the other two.

These baby webbed pawed mammals were delivered five months ago and have been the main attraction as they charm the crowd with their mischevious behaviour.

Foong said the baby otters, two females and two males, have not been given names yet and visitors are welcome to name them by dropping their suggestions in a box located in front of the exhibit area.

"The baby otters were taught how to swim by our animal trainers when they were four months old and they were fed with milk formula in the beginning. Now they are able to consume solids," he said, adding that the otters are fed twice a day.

Another interesting feature of Aquaria is the new pacific octopus, which originates from Japan.

New addition: The Pacific octopus is a new exhibit at Aquaria KLCC.
New addition: The Pacific octopus is a new exhibit at Aquaria KLCC.

Foong said the octopus was brought in a month and a half ago since the existing one had died just after four weeks after laying eggs. He said the eggs too did not survive.

The two-year-old octopus, which originates from the Northern Pacific ocean, was shy as it did not submerge when it was time to feed it. It was hiding beneath the rocks and the animal trainer had to get into the tank to lift it out.

Foong said the octopus can grow up to five metres in length and weigh up to 60kg. Known as Enteroctopus Dofleim, it hides easily in different surroundings to avoid predators.

Foong also mentioned about a new exhibit which will showcase the Malaysian rainforests, which is expected to be ready just before Chinese New Year.

"The exhibit themed ‘Rimba Ria’ will feature the rainforests of Endau Rompin, Taman Negara and Belum," he said, adding that the built-up area for this exhibit was about 4.500sq ft.

"Renovation work for the proposed RM2.5mil exhibit will start in November," Foong said,

He also said it was pertinent for the public to realise the significance of rainforests and its role in our lives as 30% of oxygen comes from trees.

"Therefore, it is vital to create this awareness, especially among the younger generation," he added.

Aquaria KLCC is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is well known for its state-of-the art aquarium, which showcases over 5,000 different species.

For those who want to experience feeding sharks and do not have a Padi card to dive, Aquaria has come up with "Cage Rage", which started operations in March 2011. Tickets for this whole new adventure is priced at RM199.

Aquaria is open daily from Monday to Sunday from 11am to 8pm and during public holidays and school holidays, it is open from 10.30am to 8pm. -- The StarMetro