I had the best tour in a long time at the Amos Rehabilitation Keep. ARK rehabilitates marine turtles and marine birds from the coastal zone of Mustang Island and St. Joseph Island in Port Aransas TX. The Tour guide “Lucky” has been a volunteer for 12 years. She knew the resident raptors and other birds very well, and had a touching story to share for each of them.
One story is about the resident Barn Owl who refused to kill prey in order to eat. However, she was a surrogate mom to scores of orphan barn owls, all who successfully learned to hunt and kill their prey.
Another is about an ornery mean female barred owl, who fell in love with a male barred owl introduced to her enclosure, who then turned into the nicest owl ever.
One of the residents is a Kemp’s Ridley considered the most seriously endangered of the sea turtle species. This guy is missing a fin and has an air bubble in his shell.
Tony Amos was a researcher at the Marine Science Institute, an arm of the University of Texas based in Port Aransas, Texas. During the course of his career, he was active in deep ocean research from the Indian Ocean to the Antarctic, focusing on designing, building and operating the instruments which collect information about the seas. he also found time to run the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) in Port Aransas, where he, with fellow staff and volunteers, provided shelter, food and care for injured birds and sea turtles.