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Newport Beach Police Department
Tuesday January 23rd, 2018 :: 02:36 p.m. PST


Press Release from International Bird Rescue

Back in November, NBPD Animal Control rescued an injured American White Pelican on Port Stirling Place.  (The original story was posted on our Facebook page here.)  We are pleased to report that the pelican has returned to full health under the diligent care of International Bird Rescue, and that he will be released back into the wild this week. 
International Bird Rescue has extended an invitation for members of the public and the press to join them at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine for the release, which is scheduled for noon on Thursday, January 25.  Please see the attached press release, map, and photos.

The text of the International Bird Rescue's Press Release is also pasted below for your convenience:

After inspiring community concern—and thanks to a concerted team effort on the part of local Audubon chapters, the Newport Beach Police Department, Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, and International Bird Rescue—an injured American White Pelican has made a full recovery and is set to be released back into the wild on Thursday, January 25th.

This pelican caught the public’s attention in November 2017 with a severely fractured mandible and a foot entangled in a fishing lure. After the pelican was spotted at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, several rescue attempts were made; but all were unsuccessful until the pelican landed in the driveway of a Newport Beach residence, weak and disoriented. That was when Newport Beach Police Department Animal Control Officer Nick Ott was able to capture the bird and get it quickly transported to Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, where it received stabilizing care and had the fishing lure carefully removed. Volunteers then transported the pelican to International Bird Rescue (Bird Rescue) to have its injuries treated by their team of wildlife experts including staff veterinarian Rebecca Duerr, DVM MPVM PhD.

When the pelican arrived at Bird Rescue, it was extremely thin, anemic, and suffering from multiple critical neck and foot wounds plus a grisly lower jaw fracture. All of these injuries are suspected to be the result of fishing lure entanglement, making this a unique case.

“I have seen a lot of horrible wounds from this type of lure before, but this is the first time I’ve seen a bird fracture its jaw due to one,” said Dr. Duerr.

The specialized care from Bird Rescue’s team has enabled this pelican to thrive and nearly double its weight over an intensive two-month recovery. During its treatment, this patient captured the hearts of many and was included on the roster of candidates for 2017 Bird of the Year in hopes of drawing attention to the challenges of fishing line and fish hook entanglement.

Executive Director JD Bergeron added, “We are grateful for the actions of the people that found this pelican and for all the organizations that collaborated to rescue it. We can all do a bit more to keep an eye out for wildlife in danger and to remove dangerous litter like fish hooks.”

Bird Rescue is excited to share the wonderful news of this patient’s recovery, and to invite all those who are interested to come take part in its upcoming release back into the wild.

WHEN: Thursday, Jan 25th at 12:00 P.M.

WHERE: San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
5 Riparian View, Irvine, CA 92612
Enter off Campus Drive (see map)
Parking available on site

We at Bird Rescue are extremely grateful to Sea and Sage Audubon, the Newport Beach Police Department, our friends at Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, and the generous donors from our local community and around the world that made this rehabilitation possible. A special thanks also goes to the Irvine Ranch Water District for allowing us to use the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for this release.

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1