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
  • 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.


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

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You