Oiled Brown Pelican: SB Wildlife Care Network's Patient of the Week
Source: Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network
Patient #460 of 2021: Brown Pelican
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) was founded in 1988 – about 20 years after the Santa Barbara Channel Oil Spill and the inaugural Earth Day was founded. Since then, SBWCN has served an important role in helping rehabilitate oiled wildlife in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
Santa Barbara is one of highest natural marine oil seep areas in the world, leading to a number of animals becoming oil-impaired for reasons unrelated to spills. While SBWCN staff are trained to respond to oil spill emergencies, the majority of oiled patients arrive at the Center due to this natural local seepage. So far in 2021, SBWCN has received almost 130 patients that were oil-impaired.
Patient #460 was a juvenile brown pelican found oiled and unable to fly on the beach along Rincon Parkway in Ventura. After stabilizing the patient, the SBWCN team washed it, provided fluids and food, and reconditioned it until the pelican was strong enough to fly again on its own. After just 16 days in care, this patient was successfully released back to the beach where it was originally rescued.
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network is currently constructing a 5,400 square foot state-of-the-art Wildlife Hospital that will be the first of its kind in the region. One important feature in this hospital will be enhanced washing and drying stations to treat oiled wildlife. Currently, most oil-impaired animals are transported down to International Bird Rescue in Long Beach, where they have more resources to care for oiled wildlife. With this new Wildlife Hospital, SBWCN will be able to care for a much higher number of oil-impaired animals right here in Santa Barbara all the way from rescue to release.
SBWCN has almost reached the fundraising goal for the Wildlife Hospital! To donate or learn more about this important project, visit https://www.sbwcn.org/wildlifehospital.