After years of operating out of a small warehouse, a center devoted to rescuing coastal wildlife finally has a new home in Corpus Christi, Texas, thanks in part to a contribution from Valero.
The new Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue at the Texas State Aquarium has officially opened. Unlike any other aquarium experience, visitors walking through the 26,000-square-foot facility may feel as though they are transformed into a veterinarian for a day.
With this state-of-the-art hospital built especially for marine mammals, visitors may have an opportunity to see how rescued animals receive an x-ray or witness a live surgery in progress, and most likely discover how treated animals are being rehabilitated.
As a supporter of the Texas State Aquarium since 2006, Valero continues to invest in the programs and research conducted at the facility. In 2021, Valero committed $500,000 for the creation of the Center for Wildlife Rescue’s new Water Quality and Valero Vet Lab. The lab will play a vital role in the education of veterinary students who schedule rotations at the aquarium, and are an integral part of providing the absolute best care to the rescued animals. In the lab, veterinary and water quality staff will process diagnostic samples on a routine basis. Water quality personnel will also use the lab to assure that aquatic animals admitted to Wildlife Rescue are living in the best environment possible.
Since the Center for Wildlife Rescue began operations in 1995, they have rehabilitated and released more than 4,000 animals back into their natural habitats. With the new facility, the will be able to hold a large number of dolphins or manatees and between 3,000 to 4,000 sea turtles at one time. It is the largest coastal wildlife rescue center in the state. In fact, this is the only facility in Texas to care for shorebirds, raptors, sea turtles and marine mammals.
The mission of the wildlife rescue has always been to rescue, rehabilitate and, whenever possible, release animals into their natural habitats. In 2022, they rescued a total of 505 animals (425 sea turtles, 76 birds, and four aquatic mammals).