Urgent Situation on the Coast: Hungry Pelicans Overwhelm Wildlife Centres in California

Coastal California communities have been witnessing a troubling sight in recent weeks: numerous pelicans that are sick and starving, desperately fighting to stay alive. The situation has become critical as local wildlife rescue centres struggle to cope with a staggering influx of these sickly birds.

A group of two dozen sick pelicans were discovered on a pier in Newport Beach earlier this week, leading to a prompt response from wildlife experts. Debbie McGuire, executive director of the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Centre in Huntington Beach, conveyed deep concern regarding the situation.

McGuire shared that their centre has already provided care for more than 100 pelicans who were experiencing anaemia, dehydration, and significant weight loss.

“They are in a dire situation, and if we don’t provide them with the necessary care, their lives are at stake,” McGuire stressed, highlighting the urgent crisis unfolding along the coast.

It is still unclear what is causing the illness in the pelicans, even though there is an abundance of marine life along the Pacific Coast. According to wildlife experts, there are concerns about the pelicans appearing malnourished, which has led to speculation about possible underlying causes.

The dedicated staff at the Wildlife Care Centre, led by Lindsey Campbell, a senior wildlife technician, have been working tirelessly to evaluate and provide necessary care for the sick birds. The centre has been dealing with a large number of malnourished pelicans that have arrived after a mass stranding event in recent weeks.

In just the past three weeks, Bird Rescue has encountered an alarming number of 110 sick pelicans at their wildlife centres in both Northern and Southern California. Several birds were discovered entangled in fishing lines or hooks, underscoring the impact of human activity on marine ecosystems.

The recent increase in pelican strandings is reminiscent of a previous occurrence in 2022, highlighting an ongoing issue for wildlife organisations along the California coast.

In the face of a challenging endeavour, wildlife organisations are unwavering in their dedication to providing care for these pelicans until they are ready to be reintegrated into their natural habitat. The survival of these iconic coastal birds relies heavily on the tireless efforts of individuals like McGuire, Campbell, and numerous dedicated volunteers.

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