Alt a. on Birdeye
10 months ago
08/18/2021, 08:44 AM
The place has improved quite a bit since last time we were there. The giant decaying dinosaur statues are no longer outside the front, the low hanging wires in some exhibits seemed to have been cleared, the steering wheel from the tortoise enclosure has been removed, and the tank with the two gators (next to the bird handling exhibit) now has a a heighten separation panel so it's no longer an accessible touch tank.
However, this place is far from perfect, probably far from good either. Some exhibits are made with like, breeze blocks? Which has allowed gaps inside the walls. This is especially true with the front, corner exhibit where tiny hands could probably reach through to try to pet the porcupine.
The giant rabbit encloser was just this elongated, oval-shaped, pit-like structure in the middle of the room. It didn't have much in it for the rabbits and looked depressing. It was like a tile floor with a cauldron (for some reason) and a fake plant.
There were multiple interactive exhibits that have no employee supervision. This is true for most of the touch tanks and the walk-in iguana enclosure. Last time, one of the iguanas did manage to get out and decide to hang out above one of the koi touch tanks.
There's also a fish pedicure location. Not only are fish pedicures controversial for their unsanitary and dangerous effects between both human and fish, but they also happen to be illegal in the state of Texas.
The room with the fish pedicure also contained two jellyfish wall exhibits. The filter for the first jellyfish exhibit seemed to be pushing the water a little too forceful because the jellyfish were being pushed in a slow, forward-facing cycle. Jellyfish aren't much for smarts, so I'm not really sure if this kind of environment affects them. Still, it just struck me as odd to see an exhibit that looks like a washing machine spin cycle simulation for jellyfish.
Also, I'm really confused with the bird exhibit next to the iguanas. It's just a bunch of bird cages with exotic birds in them. Handlers were bringing some birds out to sit on perches while the viewers stood behind a fence and watched. Was that an exhibit? An event? Were they pulled inside from the outside bird area, because this feels like an odd way to display them indoors. It was like window shopping at a pet store.
There's also this Walk The Plank event where you pay to have someone dressed as a pirate that walk you to a plank, so that you can jump into the touch tank of sting rays. Imagine someone landing feet first on one of those poor guys.
Then there's the most obviously, strange thing about the aquarium and that's the aquarium as a whole. There's dinosaur statues littered about. They don't seem to serve any purpose other than to just stand there. Then at some point when you want to get to the rest of the exhibits, you have to go right through an arcade. Which is an obvious money-hungry cry strategy. Putting an arcade right there in the pathway of the exhibits really disrupts the flow of the environment (Not that it had much flow to begin with). If you're somehow bored of looking at and interacting with animals, and the arcade isn't enough to keep you in the building for an extra hour longer; You can try the bounce house room! A large, entirely, green room with bounce houses and tables for a mid-trip snack.
This place is like a jigsaw puzzle where all the peices are from different boxes.
If there's one thing they should do, it's to have more empathy for the animals. There has been other reviews about the sake of the animal's health and it would really matter if the animals were treated less like a toy and more like a resident.