Blog Jam 12: A remarkable exhibit

Yesterday I got to hide fish for three river otters. That is a sentence I’ve never written before. Eight of us seniors took a behind-the-scenes “Watershed Heroes” workshop at our creative local zoo. The class time led up to an extended tour of the river otter exhibit. For the workshop climax, we donned gloves and wandered around inside the exhibit, hiding smelt. The otters knew the drill, waiting curiously on the other side of a fence. We left the exhibit to join a gaggle of zoo-going families who had been noting us with quizzical glares. (Imagine hoping to see otters and finding only grandparents.) We all watched through glass, above and below the waterline. With the aplomb of an acting troupe, the three otters responded to the zookeeper’s call, “Otters!” One by one, they crossed a plank into the exhibit, easily finding their prey but hamming it up. We clapped when one stretched perilously across a waterfall to pluck a fish from a rock. We gazed into their dark eyes as they pirouetted carelessly in the water, viewing all of us humans — from sticky-fingered toddlers to wheelchaired grownups — as if we were, together, a remarkable and thought-provoking exhibit. 

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