OTL Helps River Otters and Grizzly Bears Feel at Home at Riverbanks Zoo

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Expertise in Constructing Natural Zoological Habitats is On Display at North American River Otter and Grizzly Bear Exhibits

Otter Run and Grizzly Ridge may be the first exhibits to open as Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C. undergoes a $36 million expansion. But to resident otters and bears, their new digs feel like home sweet home thanks to OTL zoological construction expertise.

Grizzly Ridge residents Butch and Sundance recently returned to Riverbanks Zoo from the Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma where they lived for more than a year during construction of their spacious new habitat.

Neighboring Otter Run residents Divya, Savannah and Sophia came to Riverbanks Zoo from Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Ill.

Incorporating roughly 11,000 square foot of artificial rockwork interlaced with streams, ponds and tree deadfall, the zoological habitats were built by OTL to closely mimic each animal type’s native environment. This meant that OTL had to understand not only the geographic characteristics of the bear and otter habitats, like temperature, topography and vegetation, but also how each animal interacts with its environment, including its sense of territoriality, foraging habits and physical capabilities.

Additionally, OTL zoological construction professionals had to consider the impact of man-made and natural materials on the animals’ health and wellbeing. Operational considerations, such as maintenance, sustainability and durability, also came into play.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has a 30-year tradition of protecting the world’s wildlife and wild places. It is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and exotic animals, as well as 70 acres of scenic river views, spectacular valley overlooks and beautiful landscapes.

Find out more about the latest grizzly bear and otter exhibits by visiting https://www.riverbanks.org/.

For more information on how OTL builds natural habitats for animals at zoological parks, visit https://otl.wpengine.com/how-to-build-natural-habitats-for-animals-at-zoological-parks-2 or contact info@otl-inc.com.