Fortifying our Mountain Forest | South Carolina Aquarium

Fortifying our Mountain Forest

Jan 01
The exterior of the South Carolina Aquarium is shown on an overcast day.

Fortifying our Mountain Forest

A new year means new, exciting projects happening around the Aquarium, and we’re kicking off 2023 with a project to fortify our outdoor Mountain Forest exhibit. Beginning January 9, this exhibit will be closed to the public as we replace the mesh surrounding its exterior. We expect this exhibit to remain closed for several months, but we are confident that this work will ensure the longevity of the Mountain Forest habitat for years to come!

The Project
If you gaze up at the top of the Mountain Forest exhibit, you’ll notice it’s enclosed in mesh. This allows animals and guests to enjoy an open-air experience while ensuring the habitat is protected from wild animals, as well as foreign objects or debris. Over time, this mesh has experienced normal wear and tear and requires fortification so it can continue its job of safeguarding the Mountain Forest exhibit, our resident animals and you, our visitors!

The camera looks up toward the mesh surrounding the Mountain Forest exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium

The Timeline
This project is significant in scope and will take many steps to complete, including removing the current mesh, fortifying the existing structure, sanding and painting the beams, installing new mesh and more. While we do not yet have a projected reopening date, we expect this project to last into the summer months. We will announce the reopening date of the Mountain Forest exhibit as soon as it is determined.

The Animals
We know our resident river otters, Charlie and Beau, are guest and member favorites, and while you’ll be unable to see them face-to-face for a time, you can rest assured they will continue to enjoy top-notch care. Their keepers will provide them with all of the exercise, enrichment and socialization they need to maintain a healthy wellbeing. The indoor portion of their habitat, located behind-the-scenes, offers plenty of space for activity and rest. Whenever possible throughout this project, they’ll be given the opportunity to move freely between their indoor and outdoor habitats.

North American river otters, Charlie and Beau, look up from their outdoor habitat at the South Carolina Aquarium

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our other resident animals that represent the Mountain Forest! The fish that inhabit the tanks in this space will be moved to tanks in behind-the-scenes locations at the Aquarium for the duration of this project. This temporary closure will not affect our bald eagle habitat; Liberty will remain on exhibit!

The Now
Throughout this temporary closure, you can still visit the Aquarium as usual and experience the same engaging and educational exploration you always have! We know you’ll miss visiting Charlie and Beau in person, so be sure to follow along on our social media platforms (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), where we’ll post periodic updates and fun otter content.

Published January 1, 2023

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