Arriving just in time for summer, Christi, a Loggerhead sea turtle, not only seems to have the interest and respect of DWA visitors, but the other Cenote residents as well. Weighing 300 pounds, she literally has the weight "to throw around." We were impressed with the size of Clyde, the 195-pound Green sea turtle raised at DWA and released in the wild in February 2005, however, the additional hundred pounds is evident when observing Christi. Since June 1994, we have been involved with four of the seven species of sea turtles.
You may remember the baby clownfish that we displayed, for a short period of time, inside a tube in the Sri Lanka exhibit. The Allardi clownfish had hatched at the DWA and, as with most clownfish, it was a favorite of children. This prompted us to consider ways of safely displaying young, small or delicate species that needed more isolation than they would receive in the larger exhibits. Five such "micro exhibits" are being constructed and will house some unique, interesting and educational species.
Although contained by strong, almost invisible mesh, the canopy levels at DWA are home to many animals that occupy the upper heights in natural rainforests. For their own protection, as well as the safety of the many species at the lower levels, some of the top predators watch your every move as you wind up and down the pathways. One such animal is the endangered Harpy eagle that is often referred to as the "ruler of the rainforest." This large, powerful bird of prey is truly one of the most majestic animals in the rainforest. The article Palace of the Eagle gives you the best viewing spots from which to observe the eagles.
The Amazon Rescue Centre received recent attention by being selected as a World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Conservation Project. Since inception of their involvement in various international projects in 2003, the number of WAZA-branded projects is now at 176. WAZA's mission is "to guide, encourage and support the zoos, aquariums, and like-minded organizations of the world in animal care and welfare, environmental education and global conservation." The DWA has been a member of WAZA since 2000. Please enjoy the WAZA news article published in February 2010 by visiting: http://www.waza.org/en/site/conservation/waza-conservation-projects/overview/foundation-iquitos-amazon-rescue-centre.
The Dallas World Aquarium has also been supporting "La Isla de los Monos," a private rescue island for orphaned monkeys received from INRENA confiscations. With recent improvements, the island now has a quarantine area where young animals can be separated from the adults when first received. For the past the two years, we have been presenting an environmental outreach program to the remote villages, with banners, t-shirts, native handicrafts and puppet shows to increase the awareness of the importance of not capturing and selling the young offspring of Amazonian primates. Please read more about the additional conservation in the article Saving the Huapos.