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Credit: © WCS

               Credit: © Texas State Aquarium 

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Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Credit: © Texas State Aquarium

Bronx, NY – Feb. 24, 2021 – One of the newest residents at the Bronx Zoo is an American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) named Amos. His bold personality and friendly demeanor will surely make him a favorite among those who are able to meet him though a Bronx Zoo in-person or virtual Animal Encounter session.

Amos arrived at the Bronx Zoo at the end of 2020. His story is even bigger than his personality. In 2016 Amos was found in the Port of Corpus Christi with drooping wings and unable to fly. He was brought to the Wildlife Rescue Center at the nearby Texas State Aquarium where radiographs revealed that both wings were broken. Veterinarians determined that he had been shot in both wings, likely while in flight.

The Texas State Aquarium veterinarians performed surgery and treated Amos for his injuries. He responded to treatment and recovered, but is unable to fully extend his right wing as a result of the trauma. Because he can no longer fly, Amos’s rehabilitators determined he could not be released back into the wild.

After fully recovering at the Wildlife Rescue Center, Amos lived on exhibit at the Texas State Aquarium for a little more than a year until a permanent home could be found. Because of his engaging personality, he was an instant favorite among his keepers and visitors.

“Our Wildlife Rescue team was dedicated to Amos’s recovery. With the critical care and rehabilitation, along with his enthusiasm, we were able to return his health,” said Texas State Aquarium Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Gilbert. “We are grateful that through our partnership, Amos has found his long-term home. Amos will bring great joy to the staff and visitors of the Bronx Zoo as he had during his recovery at the Texas State Aquarium.”

Now a resident of the Bronx Zoo, Amos has joined nearly 200 animals that are part of the zoo’s ambassador animal program. Although he will not be on exhibit for the public, he will meet students, campers and families both virtually and in person where people will be made aware of the tragedy he experienced and how a dedicated team of professionals worked to save him.  His story will help people form a connection with nature and generate a respect for wildlife.

“This is an excellent example of accredited zoos and aquariums working together to save an animal that was negatively impacted by the deliberate action of people,” said WCS EVP and Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny. “Amos was in bad shape, but thanks to excellent work of the animal care staff at the Texas State Aquarium and Bronx Zoo, this charismatic bird is thriving and will help us further our mission through his story.”

American white pelicans are classified as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) but are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Their range spans from interior North America where they migrate inland to breed, to Pacific and Gulf Coast regions of the US and Mexico. They are a very large bird that can grow to about 4 feet tall and have a wingspan of nearly 9 feet. Both males and females grow a “horn” on the upper mandible during breeding season which is shed in the off-season. They are almost entirely white with the exception of black-tipped wings that are only visible while in flight.

About the Bronx Zoo: The Bronx Zoo, located on 265 acres of hardwood forest in Bronx, NY, opened on Nov. 8, 1899. It is world-renowned for its leadership in the areas of animal welfare, husbandry, veterinarian care, education, science and conservation. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is the flagship park of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which manages the world’s largest network of urban wildlife parks including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium. Our curators and animal care staff work to save, propagate, and sustain populations of threatened and endangered species. We have educated and inspired more than 400 million visitors at our zoos and aquarium since our opening and host approximately 4 million guests at our parks each year – including about a half-million students annually. The Bronx Zoo is the largest youth employer in the borough of the Bronx, providing opportunity and helping to transform lives in one of the most under-served communities in the nation. The Bronx Zoo is the subject of THE ZOO, a docu-series aired world-wide on Animal Planet. For more information, visit www.BronxZoo.com. Members of the media should contact mpulsinelli@wcs.org (718-220-5182) or mdixon@wcs.org (347-840-1242) for more information or with questions.  

About Texas State Aquarium (TSA): the Official Aquarium of the State of Texas, is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution that is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Its mission is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for our seas and support wildlife conservation. TSA, the largest aquarium in Texas, cares for over 4,000 animals and has been named the #4 Aquarium in North American by USA Today. Learn more at texasstateaquarium.org.