Baby pelican among 89 admissions

By Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital

The baby was transported to the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station on the east coast so that it could be raised with other nestling brown pelicans by “surrogate parent” brown pelicans.

We got an update from the director at Pelican Harbor and we’re happy to report the baby is doing very well!

Original Story

A nestling brown pelican was among the 89 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy Southwest Florida this past week. Other admissions include a green anole, a hatchling wood duck, a northern gannet, and four eastern cottontail rabbits.

The nestling brown pelican was found in shallow water off a Marco Island beach. The pelican was completely covered in white fuzzy down and was far too young to have been out of the nest.

Upon intake, the pelican was bright, alert and responsive but did have respiratory issues. The young pelican was immediately placed in an animal intensive care unit to warm and rest. Once stabilized, the pelican was started on an antibiotic, received electrolytes, and eagerly ate the fish staff offered.

Our plan is to transport the nestling pelican to a rehab center on the east coast of Florida where it will be raised with other nestling brown pelicans by “surrogate parent” brown pelicans.

Recent Releases — 30 animals return home

  • 3 gopher tortoises
  • 3 Florida snapping turtles
  • 5 eastern cottontails
  • 2 loggerhead shrikes
  • 1 common grackle
  • 1 eastern meadowlark (Read More)
  • 1 Florida box turtle
  • 2 eastern screech owls
  • 1 white-winged dove
  • 4 mourning doves
  • 1 red-bellied woodpecker
  • 1 royal tern
  • 3 northern mockingbirds
  • 1 peninsula cooter
  • 1 swallow-tailed kite

Opportunities to Help

Why not use the community involvement exemplified by the Isles of Capri Residents? Organize members of your neighborhood or gated community to support the efforts of the wildlife hospital through volunteerism or donation of needed supplies. Getting involved strengthens your sense of community and truly makes a positive impact on our mission to help wildlife in need.

Watch this video of a baby pelican admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital in June of 2014. Caring for an baby pelican can be very trying. With this particular pelican, as well as the pelican mentioned above, only a couple staff members work with him in an attempt to cut the chances of lasting human imprintation and habituation.

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