Largest Wildlife Rescue Center in Texas Now Open

March 3, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Yesterday, Thursday, March 2, the Texas State Aquarium held the Grand Opening of the new Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue. The new state-of-the-art, 26,000-square-foot facility is the largest rescue center in the state and one of the largest in the country.

The Aquarium celebrated this special occasion with several honored guests, including 27th Congressional District of Texas Congressman Michael Cloud. Congressman Cloud presented the Aquarium with a Special Congressional Recognition along with a United States flag that was flown over Washington D.C.

Thirty years ago, a group of visionaries developed an aquarium that became one of the premiere destination venues in Texas. This group of individuals also adopted and put in place a long-range plan, including a research, education, and conservation wildlife facility.

“Today we are here to witness the cumulation of that vision as we dedicate this last piece of their 30-year master plan, the Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue, a state-of-the-art facility,” said Charles Zahn Jr., Past Chairman of the Texas State Aquarium and Chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. “As we celebrate 187 years since the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence, it seems appropriate that we will celebrate the future of Texas Wildlife.”

This newly constructed building is located directly on the Aquarium’s campus and will replace the existing facilities on Rincon Road. The Rescue Center is open for wildlife rescue operations and animal rehabilitation.

“The new center’s mission is conserving wildlife and developing science advocates to build a resilient Texas Gulf Coast,” said Texas State Aquarium President and Chief Executive Officer Jesse Gilbert. “This is an incredible place where you can come and have a great experience with your family while also experiencing first-hand the phenomenal science and conservation efforts happening here in Texas.”

For the first time since the Aquarium’s rescue program started, people can see and experience the science and technologies critical to the treatment and rehabilitation of Texas wildlife, including shorebirds, raptors, marine mammals, sea turtles, and more. The new center will be outfitted with state-of-the-art veterinary medical equipment, an interpretive gallery, an emergency operations center, and the only CAT scan used specifically for wildlife in Texas.

The grand opening coincided with the monumental 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which establishes protections for fish and wildlife listed as threatened or endangered. Leading the way since 1995, the Wildlife Rescue Program has admitted thousands of protected, threatened, and endangered species for rescue and rehabilitation, releasing over 4,000 animals back into their natural habitat.

This achievement is a testament to the generous support of the community. Funding for the building was made possible by many donors, including the Port of Corpus Christi, the Dobson Family of Foundations, the City of Corpus Christi, the ExxonMobil Foundation, Catherine and Bob Hilliard, the state of Texas, The Brown Foundation, Valero, and the Earl C. Sams Foundation.


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