Our Dedication to Saving Animals

saving animalsMoody Gardens is dedicated to the care and survival of animals. We go to great lengths to make sure we provide a comfortable home for our animal residents and provide assistance to animals in need.

Moody Gardens has worked with the Marine Stranding Network and other organizations to help rescue injured animals and rehabilitate them. Moody Gardens has helped to provide aid in the recovery and release of marine animals, such as dolphins and turtles, back into the wild.

A permanent home is also provided for animals that may not be able to survive in the wild, as in the case of Porter. Porter was a newborn abandoned harbor seal pup that needed treatment for dehydration and injuries. After the Marine Animal Lifeline nursed him back to health, he did not have the survival and hunting skills necessary to be released back into the wild. He is now a permanent resident of the Aquarium Pyramid’s North Pacific Exhibit.

At the Seahorse Symphony Exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid, visitors are reminded of the quickly diminishing seahorse population. It’s estimated that each year around 20 million seahorses are taken from the ocean to be used as souvenirs, pets, and for medicine. Project Seahorse is a collaborative international effort that focuses on conservation habitats, educating visitors, and making a difference for the seahorse population.

The efforts of Moody Gardens have been as widespread as South America, where a rescue team helped save a colony of Caribbean Flamingos after their home was attacked by jaguars. Also, the King Penguins at Moody Gardens are a genetically desirable group that have been part of a breeding exchange program with other institutions, helping to ensure their species survival.

Come visit the King Penguins and Porter the seal at the Aquarium Pyramid on your next family weekend getaway in Texas. Don’t forget to stop in and see the variety of animal residents at the Rainforest Pyramid! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Why 2012 Was the Year of the Bat

Bats
Each year, Moody Gardens makes an effort to bring attention to parts of the world and certain animals in need of support. This past year was the Year of the Bat, as declared by the United Nations. Throughout the year, a variety of events were held at Moody Gardens to bring attention to this important animal, which is often overlooked.

Moody Gardens to raised money to donate to Bat Conservation International (BCI). BCI conducts and supports science-based conservation efforts for bats around the world. They work with many other organizations to combine research, education, and direct conservation to maintain bats’ environments and survival far into the future.

One of the first events at Moody Gardens was the Bats Are Doin’ It: A Fundraiser for Animal Lovers.  The event was held in February at the Moody Gardens Visitor Center and tickets ranged from $50-$90. Proceeds from ticket sales (including raffles) and donations were donated to Bat Conservation International. The event also brought attention to the ecological importance of bats, such as eating harmful insects and pollinating crops, such as bananas and mangoes. The purpose of the event was not only to raise funds, but also to increase appreciation for the misunderstood species.

A second Year of the Bat event held at Moody Gardens was the Bats for Bats Fundraiser. Starting in October and going on for several weeks, Moody Gardens held online auctions of sports memorabilia. Items such as a Texas Rangers’ Michael Young autographed photo were sold and the proceeds donated to BCI.

Now that 2012, the Year of the Bat, is over, we are looking forward to any future conservation efforts Moody Gardens will be making!

Come visit us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas, and learn more about the animals of the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid. Be sure book your stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

Philippine Travel Update 6-11 November, 2012

Read Intro Post Here

By Moody Gardens Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker

We arrived in Subic Bay at about 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, after a 43-hour door-to-door adventure that re-routed us through Los Angeles and Seoul, Korea.

However, our checked luggage went on the original routing through Honolulu and Guam, and didn’t arrive until 1 a.m. on Saturday. With a little rough beginning, we had the entire team assembled at noon on Friday, Nov. 9, and began the real work.

The project team includes Roy Drinnen and Greg Whittaker from Moody Gardens, Dirk Peterson from SECORE.org, Bart Shepherd from California Academy of Science, Eric Hovland from Florida Aquarium, and Bianca Espinos and Jonathon Apurado from Ocean Adventure.

Friday afternoon was spent snorkeling the shallow reefs adjacent to the Camayan Beach Resort and Nabasan Point. We were discouraged as there was evidence of significant environmental stress in both areas and the reef closest to the resort was mostly dead and covered in algae.

We concluded that the heavy typhoon season’s high tides, large waves and heavy rains had caused silt deposition over large areas of reef. Those that were shallow and had poor water flow were not able to recover, and once the corals died back the algae quickly took over.

Saturday was spent diving the deeper reefs off Nabasan Point, Tago Beach and Grande Island. We also surveyed the artificial habitat created by the polyethylene tensar net system that encloses the massive marine mammal complex.

Everyone was much more optimistic after seeing the conditions of the reefs in these zones as the coral condition and diversity indicated the environmental conditions were suited to maintaining them.

Stay tuned for next update!

Moody Gardens to develop collaborative conservation project in the Philippines

Earlier this month, members of the Moody Gardens animal care team traveled to the Philippines to begin a conservation partnership with a marine aquarium facility in Subic Bay.

The project partners Moody Gardens with a nonprofit organization known as Wildlife In Need (WIN). This project pairs resources with conservation needs in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

WIN is the nonprofit arm of Ocean Adventure, Southeast Asia’s only open water marine park. It is nestled between one of Luzon’s only remaining intact primary growth rainforests and a marine-protected area that includes two small bays on the southern shore of the mouth of Subic Bay.

There are three primary goals for the trip – to formalize a Memorandum of Understanding, develop a coral reef conservation program, and explore terrestrial conservation opportunities.

The Moody Gardens team is working with additional field conservation partners including the California Academy of Science, the Florida Aquarium and SECORE.org to design a land-based coral nursery lab, and begin long term coral reef habitat monitoring as the first step towards active restoration work.

Following the trip, Moody Gardens’ staff will provide direct and in-kind support, as well as technical assistance, in building the coral nursery lab. Their ultimate goal is to establish a facility similar to the SECORE lab at the Curacao Sea Aquarium. It will support technical workshops and regional reef restoration efforts at the same time that it serves a public education role as an aquarium exhibit.

Please refer back to the Moody Gardens blog  for updates from the field.

 

Bats for Bats Weekly Online Auction

2012 is Year of the Bat and we’re celebrating it with Bats for Bats! We’ll be having a series of online auctions for the coming weeks. Each sports memorabilia was generously donated to support bats and their important role in the environment. The money raised from these items will be donated to Bat Conservation International to fund crucial education and awareness.

ITEM 1
(SOLD!)

Houston Astros Maxwell & Johnson Autographed Baseball


ITEM 2
(SOLD!)

Dynamo Fan Pack with Two Tickets for any 2013 game

 

ITEM 3
(SOLD)

Texas Rangers’ Michael Young Autographed Photo

 

ITEM 4
(SOLD)

Authentic Texas Tech football autographed by Tommy Tuberville
ITEM 5
Bid here: 
http://bit.ly/Bats4Bats5
(bidding ends 11/13)
UT Football with authentic Mack Brown autograph

Bat Facts: What’s with the hanging?

Q: WHY DO BATS HANG UPSIDE DOWN?

A: Unlike the bodies of other animals, a bat’s body is best adapted for hanging upside down. Its hind limbs have rotated 180 degrees so that its knees face backwards. This rotation aids in the bat’s ability to navigate in flight and to hang by its feet. Bats actually have specialized tendons that hold their toes in place so that they are able to cling to their roosts without expending any energy. In fact, bats must flex their muscles in order to let go of the roosting surface. These adaptations are quite helpful for a flying mammal since bats only need to let go of the roost in order to drop into flight. Hanging upside down also provides bats with roosting space away from predators in safe places on the ceilings of caves, in trees, and buildings that few other animals can use because they have not evolved to hang upside down by their feet.

Visit Bat Conservation International to learn more about bats!

Polar Bear Photo Contest

Do you have a way with words? Then make sure to participate in our Polar Bear Photo Contest in anticipation of the grand opening of To the Arctic 3D.

The Arctic Ice Cap is shrinking each summer—and by 2050 or earlier will be reduced to a small fringe on the coast of Canada and Greenland. Only about 20,000 polar bears remain, and their survival is in jeopardy. This film takes viewers on a captivating journey of survival in the Arctic wilderness.

You’ll have until Sunday, April 22 to impress us with your best caption! As part of the fun, we’ll be throwing in some To the Arctic 3D related prizes for the best two captions. Winners will be selected by Moody Gardens staff members and announced on Monday, April 23, 2012 on Facebook. Head on over to our Facebook page and find the post with the Polar Bear Photo (shown on left) and leave your caption in the comments section. While you’re on our Facebook page, why not go ahead and click “LIKE” to stay connected with us!

If you capture us with your witty ways and are selected as a winner, you’ll receive the following prizes:

  • One (1) Official To the Arctic t-shirt
  • One (1) Official (and adorable) To the Arctic stuffed polar bear
  • One (1) Official To the Arctic movie poster
  • Two (2) tickets to the MG 3D Theater which can be redeemed to see To the Arctic 3D

So put on your creative hats and head on over to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/moodygardens. Questions, comments and/or concerns? Leave us a comment below!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Inc. Any comments that are inappropriate, offensive, spam or commercial in nature can be deleted by the page admin. Must be 18 years or older to win.