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Texas State Aquarium Planning New Rehabilitation Facility to Continue Saving Wildlife

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In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas State Aquarium’s wildlife care manager, Alyssa Barrett, found herself face to face with a species that doesn’t usually make its way to the Texas shores. Covered in cactus spines, a frigatebird (a native species of tropical and subtropical waters in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans) had been discovered by an area resident close to Baffin Bay. Barrett and her team rushed the bird to the aquarium for treatment, which would be one of many species they assisted following the tremendous damage that Harvey had wreaked.

Texas State Aquarium Planning New Rehabilitation Facility to Continue Their Valued Work

Photo: Facebook/Texas State Aquarium

The bird has since been able to make the Texas State Aquarium its permanent home, taking up residence in its Caribbean Journey exhibit. It’s the only one of its kind in the care of an accredited North American facility – owing to the fact that it can no longer fly as a result of its injuries. Hurricane Harvey also resulted in aquarium officials making room for other marine wildlife and birds at both the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor and the University of Texas-Austin Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. The devastation that was caused by the storm gave cause for the re-homing of chickens, macaws, and goats, turtles, and brown pelicans, among others.

Texas State Aquarium Planning New Rehabilitation Facility to Continue Their Valued Work

Photo: Facebook/Texas State Aquarium

This type of service and its resulting rehabilitation and return of the species to the wild (when possible) is part of the Texas State Aquarium’s mission, together with conservation. Subsequently, the opening of a new rehabilitation facility on their property is in their near future. The facility comes with an anticipated price tag of $20 million, but with an expected return that is practically incalculable in terms of value to the species that it will assist. Scheduled for 2021, the state-of-the-art building is timely in that aquarium representatives have acknowledged that the impact of another environmental disaster along the Gulf of Mexico is imminent, and the need to be prepared to assist is great.

Texas State Aquarium Planning New Rehabilitation Facility to Continue Their Valued Work
Photo: Facebook/Texas State Aquarium

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