River Journey / Appalachian Cove Forest
The Appalachian Cove Forest recreates the mountain source of the Tennessee River.
Upon entering, visitors are surrounded by an ancient forest; the sounds of chirping birds, cascading waterfalls and whimsical river otters splashing and foraging. The forest is remarkably realistic; its air is moist and thick; its trees are filled with birds; its streams and pools are inhabited by fish; and amphibians and reptiles find refuge in hollow logs.
River Otter Falls - the most prominent exhibit inside the Cove Forest - is designed to bring out a RIver Otter's natural behaviors. You'll see them scampering up and down multi-tiered landscape which features a lengthy stream, waterfalls and cascades. You'll be fascinated by their climbing abilities and athleticism underwater.
The otters will explore their habitat in various groups each day, so you might see two, three or four otters at any one time playfully tussling with one another. North American River Otters are terrestrial animals which means you’ll see them running along a lengthy stream, popping in and out of the water frequently. At times the otters chase one another like puppy dogs, occasionally wrestling underwater. You’ll enjoy seeing how they use their webbed feet and bushy tails to twist and turn like aquatic acrobats.