Baby otters make debut at Greensboro Science Center


In a dimly lit room, accompanied by the noises of children screaming and playing, some of the most interestingly diverse animals on the planet thrive.

Sharks, exotic fish, sloths, as well as many other exhibits, have taken up residence at the recently renovated Greensboro Science Center.

This past June, the  Greensboro Science Center  underwent a  renovation, that included the addition of the SciQuarium, an aquarium geared towards the teaching of science.

Along with being North Carolina’s first inland aquarium, the SciQuarium is now home to a wide variety of animals that includes the very rare fishing cat, moray eels, African penguins, an anaconda, mata-mata turtles, spotted river rays and many other diversified species from all over the world.

Even more recently on Feb. 16, the SciQuarium finally put its newborn Asian small-clawed otters on display for the public. Asian small-clawed otters are, in fact, the smallest otters in the world, and now they are here for your viewing here in Greensboro.

“The otters have been extremely fun, especially the babies (because) it’s a whole blank page,” said Carmen Murray, the center’s senior keeper of birds and mammals. “It’s great to start (the otters’)  training process and get them  interested in us.”

This 22,000 square foot SciQuarium also consists of an Amazon river realm, which features an anaconda, golden lion tamarins and other animals and fish, educational sci-pod stations, behind-the-scenes experience viewing areas, an animal commissary and the very popular stingray touch tank.

“Traditionally, we used to be the place to bring your small children,” said Erica Brown, the center’s marketing manager. “We’ve seen with the opening of the SciQuarium that it has actually shifted. We have a lot of college students, a lot of young couples and even a couple of cute little wedding proposals.”

Another great aspect about the Science Center is that it depends on volunteer labor. Portia McCracken ‘71 currently volunteers at the SciQuarium.

“(It is) remarkable to have something this sophisticated,” said McCracken. “I love being able to handle the animals and love the teaching aspects about the job.”

The SciQuarium is just part one of the three-phase renovation  plan. In a few years, phase two will consist of the museum’s Reinvention and Renewal program.

In this phase, four parts will be created or renovated. The Science Center will expand the dinosaur gallery exhibit, The Anne Preston Adventures in Science exhibit, as well as the animal discovery area.

The Science Center will also add an outside adventure called Skywild, a high ropes survival course geared towards fitness with three different levels of difficulty.

In addition to new and upcoming changes, “A T-Rex Named Sue” will be on display until May 4.

Sue is one of the largest and best-preserved tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever found.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the new attractions the Science Center has to offer,” said junior Thomas Deane. “I think Sue’s exhibit will be a fun exhibit to learn about.”

The Greensboro Science Center has many new attractions to make for a fun and interesting time with friends and family, so why not give it a try?