TUPPER LAKE - The Wild Center introduced its newest otter to the public Monday morning.
Remy, a 1-year-old male otter who was born in the Pittsburgh Zoo, has been at The Wild Center since June but has been in quarantine since then, as is the normal practice with all new animals at the facility.
Monday was his first appearance in the otter exhibit, where museum visitors can watch otters dive and flip in water or amble around on ground.
Remy is a 1-year-old otter who was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo and came to The Wild Center in June.
The Wild Center’s new otter, Remy, says hello to some fans in his first public appearance at the museum Monday.
(Enterprise photos — Jessica Collier)
To welcome Remy, the museum had Dennis Money, the Canadaigua-based president of the New York River Otter Project, make a speech to an audience of about 40 people who gathered in the museum's Great Hall for the event.
Money oversaw the release of 279 river otters into the wild of central and western New York, between 1995 and 2001 and about 95 percent of them came from the Adirondacks. He has also done a similar project with falcons and is now trying to do the same with Seneca white deer.
Animals like Remy can act as ambassadors for the rest of the animal kingdom, Money said.
"When you use what I call a 'sexy' animal," like otters, falcons and white deer, Money said, "people become excited about those sexy animals." Then, through learning about those animals, they start to learn about other, less sexy animals, Money said.
The otter joins The Wild Center's other three, Squeaker, Squirt and Louie. Louie was on loan from the Watertown zoo, but after he was returned last year, zoo officials realized he didn't quite fit their plans, so he returned to Tupper Lake.
Remy is short for Remington; he was named for Frederic Remington, a Canton-born painter, illustrator, sculptor and writer.
Wild Center officials said they plan to try to have Remy in the exhibit on Mondays and Thursdays, though sometimes the otters decide when they'll be put out.