No, not THAT kind of wild life. South Padre Island has several different types of rescue/nature/preserves located on the island or just over the causeway in Port Isabelle. All of them working hard to raise money to continue work helping or saving the different species that inhabit the island and surrounding waters. We started at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center.
Many people know the story of the Turtle Lady of South Padre Island, http://www.seaturtleinc.org/about-us/our-founder/ She was instrumental in starting the Rescue Center. Inside there are many tanks holding various rescued turtles who most likely would not survive without the efforts of the center.
The turtle pictured above is Allison. She lost 3 out of 4 flippers due to a shark attack. The Rescue center has developed a prosthesis to aid her swimming. She might look familiar because she has appeared on GMA and the Tonight Show.
The turtles pictured here range in size from 100 to 200 hundred pounds and the tanks they are in are some 15 feet across. The amount of water IN the tank is determined by the turtles ability to swim.
The Sea Turtle Rescue Center also has educational displays about the turtles and what kinds of dangers they face from humans and well as other sea life.
All in all, a very interesting place to visit and definitely a worthwhile cause.
Up next we ventured to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center.
This beautiful facility includes a 5 story building with observation decks on 3 floors and 3300 liner feet of boardwalk with 5 bird blinds to observe the birds from.
Inside the center is a 11 minute movie about bird migrations in south Texas and a gift/snack center. Once outside, you can take your time walking the boardwalk and finding the different birds that are staying at the center during your time there.
Of course, being a Nature center, we saw nature too, not just birds.
And last but not least,
He’s kinda hard to spot, but he IS in there!!
The Birding & Nature Center is a wonderful way to spend a few hours with the beautiful birds and creatures of South Padre Island.
The final place we visited was the South Padre Island Sea Life Center.
This eclectic little place is just over the causeway from South Padre Island in Port Isabel, however, the free Wave bus goes across the causeway every half hour so its easy to get there. Once inside, we went on a self guided tour of the exhibits.
First up, a tank of turtles and then a Striped Burr Fish.
Funny, he didn’t look cold. 🙂 As we walked through the displays of native and NON native fish, around every corner was a different display.
We turned one corner and heard a noise and found this guy on his own self guided tour.
Domino is a Bristle Legged South African Tortoise. He was dumped on the island by someone. Domino now lives at the center as an unofficial ambassador and kind of has free range over the place, which is not without its problems.
There are also a few birds at the center.
A very large iguana.
And then there was this display…
Which just goes to show, you never know what your going to find, so keep looking.