The goal of the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue Center is to rehabilitate and, whenever possible, return the animals to their natural environment.
Each year, thousands of protected, threatened, or endangered species along the Texas coast become ill or injured. Some have been impaired by predators, diseases, or other natural causes. Most are brought to our facility with problems caused directly or indirectly by humans. This includes entanglement in fishing line, nets, or lures, and even illegal harassment and shootings. The Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue Center is federally permitted and operates under rigorous standards established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Our animal care program is a valuable community service that continues to grow with state-of-the-art equipment and highly-trained staff, allowing us to take in a treat more animals than in previous years. In 2016, Wildlife Rescue was able to treat 346 shorebirds, 88 more than we saw in 2015. rehab staff personally went out into the community to rescue 113 birds, while others were brought in by the public. In 2016, we were able to release 125 birds back into their natural habitats.