Texas State Aquarium’s Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Program Reports Record Release Numbers for 2015

September 28, 2017

The Texas State Aquarium is pleased to announce a record number of released and transferred Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Program patients for 2015.

258 patients were admitted for the year, 33 percent of which were rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat, and 20 percent of which were transferred to other accredited animal facilities. This positive release rate included 32 different species of shorebirds and 15 species of raptors, making up a very high species diversity rate for the program.

Manager of Wildlife Rehabilitation Laura Martinelli said this year was a higher caseload compared to recent years, and she and her team worked hard to rise to the occasion.

“It presents certain logistical challenges as well as extra time and effort, but I am really proud of my team. It takes flexibility, hard work, and being able to adapt quickly to be as successful as we are, and volunteers are absolutely crucial to our mission and our success,” explained Martinelli.

2015 was also a banner year for in-house surgeries. Martinelli and Aquarium Veterinarian Dr. David Stelling credit the advanced technological equipment in the Second Chances surgery suite for allowing them the opportunity to perform more surgeries and, ultimately, treat the medical issues of more patients.

“The more understanding we gain doing surgeries, the better,” said Martinelli, who also added the combined experience of Second Chances staffers provided a large boon to 2015’s great numbers.

The most common bird species Second Chances staff sees are Laughing Gulls, Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, Brown Pelicans, and Great Horned Owls.

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