Since 2005, the Texas State Aquarium’s wildlife rescue and recovery center has taken in over 5-thousand patients.
“We see everything from entanglement in fishing line and fishing hooks to plastic ingestion, we’ve seen a lot of that. We’ve seen gun shot wounds, so you’ll see animals that will come in and they’ve been shot. We’ll have maybe somebody is missing a wing or they’ve been hit by a car, or something like that so it really is almost like a trauma center,” said Jesse Gilbert.
This is the only rescue center in Texas that has the expertise on manatees, dolphins, shorebirds, raptors and sea turtles.
Senior Vice President of the Texas State Aquarium, Jesse Gilbert says they need more room for more rescues.
“ 2018 will go down as the busiest year in the rescue program’s history. So we saw almost 2,000 patients over at this property in 2018. So we need to continue to increase the ability to handle that influx of animals.”
Gilbert says a bigger and better facility will help their conservation efforts with partners like the Padre Island National Seashore, the Harte Research Institute, the U-T Marine Science Institute and Texas Parks and Wildlife.
“ We’re gonna take all of those operations, all of the conservation work, the research that goes on and we’re gonna put that in a new state of the art facility on the main aquarium campus right next to the aquarium,” added Gilbert.
The new rescue center will cost about 20-million to build.
The aquarium believes this rescue center is the best kept secret in Corpus Christi.
“It’s also an interpretive opportunity for us to talk about all the incredible conservation collaborations going on in South Texas that people are probably completely unaware of. It’s some really neat stuff and I would say, a model for what can be done in other parts of the country,” concluded Gilbert.”