One of the big reasons for coming down to Holden Beach was to go to the Fort Fisher Aquarium. As I mentioned earlier, the boys have been doing the Swimming Creatures science book and so this was a great time to see a lot of the animals we had talked about over the last few months.
They had a cool albino alligator that was totally white. According to the signage, albinos don't survive in the wild because they have no natural camouflage and are very susceptible to sunburns.
We got to hear a presentation about sharks and how they tag and track them in the ocean for research.
There was a touch pool that had things like rays, urchins, starfish and hermit and horseshoe crabs.
Because the Outer Banks are a sea turtle nesting area, they had a display area about the sea turtles that come to lay on the beaches and had a tank with a young turtle in it.
Ezra just about lost his mind... He loves turtles, especially box turtles and they had a big terrarium area set up with about a dozen box turtles in it. He's been bugging me ever since to get one at home....
They have a bald eagle there, which was very cool because we'd been watching the baby eaglets on the DC Eagle Cam all spring as they grew up and finally left the nest. This one was found injured and they nursed him back to health. Unfortunately, his injuries left him flightless, so they are unable to release him back to the wild.
The Aquarium's main tank had tons of huge fish in it along with a gorgeous sea turtle who kept coming around to the window to see the kids.
There was also a huge manta ray that tried to get in on the attention.
One of the coolest areas, at least to me, was where they had the smaller creatures, like the sea horses,
some ugly rock fish
and the colorful tropical fish. Of course, the kids flipped out at finding Dory and Nemo together. :)