You can meet with otters inside Moody Gardens

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- You never know what or who you'll run into in the rainforest. The Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens features animals and plants from rainforests around the world.

"Twenty-five percent of the medicines we use today come from rainforest plants," explained Donita Brannon, horticultural exhibits manager at Moody Gardens. "But this is the mind-boggling part: less than one percent of rainforest plants have even been tested for medicinal properties."

Many of the plants and animals here are endangered, as their habitats are chopped down and paved over. That's a big problem for exotic birds that live in natural rainforests.

"They only have one chick at a time, so they put all of their energy into that one chick," points out Marci Kurtz Hoffman, the senior biologist at Moody Gardens. "But if the tree gets cut down with their nest on it, it's a whole downward effect."

Additionally, biologists are hoping to bring back Amazon giant river otters through breeding programs. Moody Gardens has four of them.

Folks are invited to participate in its animal experience program and join an otter biologist behind the scenes for an opportunity to meet the giant river otters. Here, you will learn more about conservation and how these amazing animals are cared for in their private interior exhibit area.

You can explore the Rainforest Pyramid through Moody Gardens' website.

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