GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas (June 6, 2011) — Moody Gardens officially unveiled the newly enhanced Rainforest Pyramid® to the public on May 28, 2011 after more than $25 million in improvements. The exhibit had been closed since August of last year to complete a multi-phased construction project following damage caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Visitors to the Rainforest Pyramid will experience life in a way few other U.S. attractions offer; as they begin their journey through the pyramid, they will be greeted by curious and playful members of the largest otter species—the giant Amazon river otters—a critically endangered species found in captivity at only five other zoos in all of North America. Guests enter the heart of the rainforest at treetop level as they venture across a 300-feet-long walkway for a closer look at the plants and animals that thrive in the rainforest canopy. On this canopy bridge, which elevates guests to 35 feet above the ground, they will be greeted by a variety of new exhibits and animals, including Rodrigues fruit bats, free-roaming Saki monkeys, a butterfly enclosure, cloud forest amphibian exhibit and much more. At ground level, guests will follow lushly landscaped trails through the Asian, American and African regions of the rainforest. Here guests will see even more new animals like the giant anaconda, vampire bats, blue duiker and Chinese alligators in their native habitats.
While the redesigned pyramid is certainly entertaining, it also conveys an important message about protecting the rainforest. Around the world, this indispensible ecosystem is vanishing at alarming rates; more than 12 million acres of rainforest lands are lost each year due to cattle farming, logging and other trade and development. Rainforest guests who would be devastated if the pyramid vanished can easily see how deeply deforestation impacts the lives of millions of rainforest plants, animals and people. This unique attraction is essential in fulfilling the Moody Gardens conservation and education missions and is a token of gratitude to the disappearing rainforests of the world.
“We have been extremely eager to open the doors of the new Rainforest Pyramid. Anyone who has seen this exhibit before will be amazed at the transformation,” said John Zendt, president and CEO of Moody Gardens. “These enhancements have created a richer experience and a deeper understanding of the role of rainforests in our world.”
For more information call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org.
Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.