Feb 15 - Rainforest Pyramid; Pelican Island
Trip Start Jan 08, 2012
45Trip End Mar 01, 2012
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They just completed $25 million in enhancements to the building, following damage from Hurricane Ike. It's a 10-story arborium, but with birds and exotic animals. What's different is that the birds and monkeys are all loose - no cages - which made for an interesting encounter for Roger and me.
There is a canopy walkway in the tops of the treetops, and Roger and I were watching tamarinds and Saki monkeys in the trees below. One of the staff happened to be in the area, and she said to be aware that the monkeys often jump out of the trees, but not to worry because they don't attack or anything
We also saw a giant Amazon river otter (the size of a medium dog). He was having a hoot playing with a plexiglass tube toy that was in his enclosure - pushing it around, slipping it on his arm, spinning around it. At the Chinese alligator swamp, we happened to see the staff feeding them a big dead rat. Yuck. There were waterfalls, neat features like Mayan ruins, lots of exotic plants, and many other creatures (parrots, bats, lizards, etc). It was a pretty cool place.
After the Rainforest, we headed to Pelican Island. The island is linked to Galveston Island by a causeway, and Seawolf Park is located there. It's a day park, with fishing piers, picnic areas, etc. The thing that amazed us was how habituated the pelicans were. We got out of the car in the parking lot, and there were two pelicans sitting there. We went to walk past, and they just looked at us. I got closer, and they still just looked at us. Weird.
We continued on and saw two guys fishing off the pier
We also saw dolphins jumping just off the shore. The fishing guys were concerned that they might get tangled in their lines, so they pulled their rods in and waited for them to leave.
We headed out to another set of piers that goes way further out onto the water, looked around a bit, then headed back to the car. We checked on the pelicans again, and they were still trying to swallow that damn mudshark. We hope they're not still there trying to eat it!