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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    pushed it away

    When Johann, a curious otter at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, pushed aside a large rock in his pool, he didn't know the rock held a drainage pipe in place. To his delight, the open drain clogged, ③ flooded his cage and part of the lions' next door. While Johann played in his self-made lake, his trainers tried to fix the problem by clearing the drain and replacing the rock - this time with added cement for extra weight. However, the much heavier rock was still no match for Johann, who immediately pushed it away from the pipe again to fill up his larger pool. Johann's curiosity is normal for otters, according to small mammal keeper Sam Worthley. But, he confessed, the trainers haven't quite figured out what to do next. "He keeps us alert all the time."

    I can't understand how Johann filled up the pool by pushing the rock away from the pipe. Where was the pipe and what did replacing the rock cause to happen?

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: pushed it away

    It's difficult to say without seeing at least a picture of the otter's cage.

    Apparently, without the rock holding it in a precise place, the drain pipe is flexible enough to somehow move and get clogged.

    Perhaps there is some kind of plant material that floats on or near the surface. Without the weight to keep the pipe well below the level of the vegetation, it clogs. Or perhaps there's a layer of silt and sediment on the bottom of the pool, and without a spacer to keep it above that sediment level, the drain gets clogged with muck.

    Regardless, it sounds like some shoddy jury rigged repair work. I'm not sure why they can't come up with a better solution than a rock to hold a pipe in place!

    Tie, bolt, glue, weld, screw, or somehow else permanently affix the pipe in position (depending on construction materials and environment) rather than just finding a nearby rock.

    I particularly enjoyed the part where they just tried making the rock heaver with cement. I think the otter is smarter than the zookeepers.
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