Two weeks ago, experts with the Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) in Port Aransas spent a few days on beaches working to save birds and other animals battered by Hurricane Hanna.
Three years ago the ARK took a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey. The massive storm caused $45 million worth of damage, and more than 80 percent of the facility was destroyed. So when Hurricane Hanna came around, a lot of the ARK staff was concerned.
“It brought back memories of Hurricane Harvey, and of course, you get a little bit nervous. We wanted to make sure all of our preparations were made for our animals and our facilities,” said Amos Rehabilitation Keep Program Coordinator Alicia Walker.
Following the storm, the ARK received many calls regarding injured animals along the Gulf Coast beaches. Alicia Walker, the Program Coordinator, said they rescued more than 80 animals.
“Our phones just started ringing; lots of animals were injured, babies being pushed out of the nest, weird birds that have been blown off track, and lots of turtles as well. We had some turtles washed into the jetty rocks and lots of post hatchlings that got caught up in the wind and waves and kind of stuck in the debris,” said Walker.
The most difficult part of the rescue was doing it without the help of their volunteers due to COVID-19.
“The ARK is not utilizing volunteers right now for their safety and so that means a lot of work for our staff. We have a pretty limited staff so it is the hardest job in the world, but it is the most rewarding. A lot of long nights but it is worth it,” said Walker.
Depending on the animal's condition, the Center can care for them anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year.
If you happen to see any injured wild animals, you can contact the University of Texas Marine Science Institute Phone: 361-749-6711