Odie in Quarantine
All animals that arrive in our care, including Odie, undergo a routine quarantine period before they're moved to their habitat in our main building. Quarantine gives our staff the opportunity to monitor the health and behavior of new animals and perform medical exams.
According to Odie's main caretaker at the ACRC, National Aquarium Aquarist Ashleigh Roche, his quarantine period was smooth sailing all around.
"It took a few weeks for him to really acclimate, but that's typical for any animal as they get used to their new environment," Ashleigh explained. "Once Odie got settled, he began eating really well and showing us his very laidback personality."
Odie, who is 42 years old, is most likely to be found napping or resting on the bottom of his pool at the ACRC—unsurprisingly low-energy behavior given his age. Despite his ultra-chill personality, Odie is an eager participant in feeding time.
Ashleigh describes Odie as a very good eater, especially when it comes to his favorite food, mahi-mahi (with mackerel coming in at a close second). This wasn't always the case, according to Ashleigh; Odie seemed to initially prefer squid and shrimp.
Our team noticed a unique behavior during feeding time shortly after Odie's arrival: He had the tendency to drop his food, then go back to retrieve his meal later. Our experts are unsure how this behavior started, but they knew they wanted to work with him to improve it—once Odie is on exhibit, any dropped food is guaranteed to get snatched up by another Atlantic Coral Reef resident. Ashleigh began giving Odie smaller pieces of food and focused on providing his favorites as much as possible to help limit this dropping behavior, which has greatly improved since Odie's arrival thanks to her hard work.