Frank Yturria, 95, died Nov. 26, 2018. He was a renowned conservationist and South Texas rancher whose biography includes sharing a rodeo circuit with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers in the 1940s, to single-handedly aiding the ocelot population’s preservation.
Frank graduated from Brownsville High School in 1941 and received a degree in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M in 1947. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran, land developer and banker, and a philanthropist who helped establish the Boys & Girls Club in Brownsville.
He was awarded the 2017 International Award of Excellence in Conservation by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas for providing 10,000 acres of habitat on his family’s Willacy County ranch for the protection of endangered species in the Rio Grande Valley — specifically the ocelot, aplomado falcon and other wildlife native to the area.
Frank Yturria and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts have been credited with the ocelots now thriving at the Yturria family ranch, which also stretches across Kenedy County, and where numbers have grown to as many as 100.
Published in the February 2019 Issue of The Cattleman Magazine