Saturday, February 12, 2011

Key West – We explore the Key West Aquarium

Hope never to meet one snorkeling
With the wind still howling today with an overcast sky with temps in the low 60’s, we decided to do an indoor thing so it was off to the Key West Aquarium. From the street it doesn’t look like much. It appears to be a single room with displays on either side and tanks in the middle and for that they wanted $12 each. We had $2 off coupons so we ventured forth.

Shark tank feeding time!

We were pleasantly surprised. The aquarium is much larger than it appears and the displays are first rate. The central tanks have sharks, rays, turtles and other fish that apparently can survive the company although they don’t mix the sharks with the other creatures. The displays on either side are very well done with a great assortment of reef fish, all brightly colored that included a 400 lb grouper, a 10 ft eel and jellyfish. The coral and anemones were as good as any I’ve ever seen.

A small shark was passed around for touching

Continuing to the rear of the hall you come upon outdoor tanks with huge turtles and more sharks which were interesting to watch at feeding time. Back inside to the right is a re-creation of a mangrove habitat with at least 100 fish of all sizes including a 500 lb grouper, eels, tarpons and small sharks. Alligators, a hawk and an iguana were thrown in for good measure. They return the marine animals to the wild when they can but several of the large turtles were injured (missing flippers) from boat accidents and so will remain with the aquarium. They raise their own coral fish so none were taken from the reefs. I would definitely recommend the aquarium when in Key West.

Still cold here, supposed to reach the 50’s tonight but warm up to the upper 60’s on Sunday.