Seattle Aquarium, faced with baby-otter boom, accelerates plans for a $10 million expansion on October 15, 1980.

  • By Patrick McRoberts
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 2191
On October 15, 1980, Seattle Aquarium officials accelerate plans for a $10 million expansion in response to a booming otter population. The expansion will make way for a new marine mammal complex.

The new complex had been part of original aquarium plans but officials hadn't expected to build it for a few more years. But three baby otters had been born in 18 months, and the animals were running out of room in their single tank. Another female, thought incapable of bearing young, appeared to be pregnant. As a result, according to aquarium director Doug Kemper, the aquarium would move the preliminary planning phase for the mammal complex.

The 110-pound male responsible for the baby boom was Tak, who was captured in the wild in 1978.


Sources: Lettie Gavin, "Seattle Aquarium Expanding, but First -- a Celebration," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 5, 1979, p. E-1.

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