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Area residents have the opportunity to see some interesting creatures up close.

Jun 25, 2013 -- 8:10am

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has added a rare opportunity to view endangered Pallid sturgeon and the unique Western lesser siren up close. The pallid sturgeon is similar to the shovelnose sturgeon, but it has a longer and more pointed snout. It's grayish-white in color and can exceed 30 inches in length. If caught while fishing, it should be returned unharmed to the water immediately, because it’s a species listed as endangered by both the state of Missouri and the U.S. government. The Western lesser siren is an elongated or eel-like aquatic amphibian. This species is unique to our wetlands and lowland Mississippi region, but it is not listed as endangered or threatened. These rare species are able to be on display at the Nature Center because fish hatcheries at times produce more fish than are needed for meeting stocking quotas. Those wishing to view these species up close can visit the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center from 8 am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday. More information can be found at

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