Bringing the Brazos Back to Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/28/03

Bringing the Brazos Back to Lubbock

It's an animal adventure with a Texas twist. After four years in the making, hundreds of animals from the Brazos River now call the Science Spectrum home.

"This is an animal enclosure that features turtles," says marketing director Wes Wise.

From the cute and calm to the frightening and not so friendly.

"This guy survives by hiding, so therefore, they're not the easiest thing to see all the time," Wes says about a scorpion who comes out for a look at our camera.

This one of a kind exhibit brings the Brazos back to Lubbock and features animals most of us may not see in the wild.

"Most people don't realize that. They don't realize the size of the watershed and how important that river is to the state, and then, a lot of the diversity along the way as far as the animals and culture of the state," says Wes.

The Brazos River watershed is so large that it extends 900 miles west of where we live here in Lubbock, extends through central Texas, and dumps into the Gulf of Mexico.

Ad the exhibit covers every habitat along the mighty river.

"It flows along the way the Brazos does. As you go along through the exhibit, all the animals change to represent each part of the river you go down," says Wes.

Along the way you can find a plethora of animals. More than 30 aquariums house dozens of fresh and saltwater fish. One features a state of the art underwater camera visitors can operate.

"I'm gonna turn this around and see if we can get this catfish in the back for you," says Wes.

They are pretty shy creatures, but with the camera, we were able to catch a glimpse of this catfish hiding under a rock. Other creatures, however, aren't so shy, but great attention getters.

"Obviously, this is an animal enclosure that deals with snakes, everyone's friend," says Wes.

And perhaps the most intriguing of all, this 3,200 gallon tank featuring the king of the aquarium, a lemon shark, who we're told, is not your normal "Jaws."

"He's real skittish actually. You stick your hand in the water, and he's outta there," says Andrew Baldwin, Ph.D., who makes sure all exhibits run smoothly.

Andrew has the tough job of making sure all exhibits are clean and in perfect condition.

"Those we have to monitor daily. We have to check the PH, salinity, fish are also fed daily," says Andrew.

The Brazos River Journey exhibit at the Science Spectrum will be on display permanently. To get your own sneak peak of the animals in the new exhibit, the Science Spectrum is open Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 10 to 6 the rest of the week. Tickets for adults are $5.50 and $4.50 for children. You can call (806) 745-2525 for more information.

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