Dr. Taylor Yaw Joins Texas State Aquarium as Head Veterinarian

August 12, 2019

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Texas State Aquarium announced today that Dr. Taylor Yaw will lead the Department of Animal Health at the Texas State Aquarium. In his new position, Dr. Yaw will oversee the medical care for the more than 6,000 animals representing over 420 species that make the Aquarium their home, as well as the hundreds of ill and injured wildlife taken in annually by the Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue Center. 

Dr. Yaw brings to the Aquarium a wealth of varied expertise in caring for all types of animals. During his undergrad, Dr. Yaw worked with great apes, sea lions and elephants at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium as a zookeeper. After graduation, he began veterinary school at Ross University, where he was a member of the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, before transferring to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to complete his doctorate in veterinary medicine. Post-graduation, Dr. Yaw gained specialized training in zoological and wildlife medicine through internships at Iowa State University and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He then went on to complete a three-year residency in zoological medicine at the University of Wisconsin, the International Crane Foundation, and the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Dr. Yaw says caring for animals has been a lifelong ambition that began while he was growing up on his family farm in Nebraska, but it wasn’t until the summer after he graduated high school that he realized veterinary medicine was his ideal career path. While shadowing a zoo veterinarian, Dr. Yaw witnessed an ultrasound and blood sampling procedure on a shark and knew immediately he wanted to become a veterinarian.

Today, Dr. Yaw says that being a veterinarian for the wide variety of animals like those at the Texas State Aquarium is still his dream job. “There is never a dull moment, and with such a diversity of species, there is something new to learn every day,” Yaw says. “Our patients are unable to tell us when they don’t feel well, so every case presents a new challenge, especially in an aquatic environment.”

Beyond his work in zoos and aquariums, Dr. Yaw has also applied his skillset to several conservation and research projects, including studying cardiac disease in western lowland gorillas and serving as a veterinary anesthesia team member in Belize working with wild tapirs.

“We’re excited to welcome Dr. Yaw to our Aquarium Animal Care team and the Coastal Bend community,” said Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “From our first meeting, it was clear Dr. Yaw shared our passion for caring for animals, and together, we look forward to providing an ever-improving environment at the Aquarium dedicated to promoting animal health and animal wellness and wildlife conservation.”

Pictures of Dr. Yaw

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