The Painful Truth

A California Brown Pelican upon admission to International Bird Rescue – its wrist hooked to its face with a fishing lure

On Monday, Redondo Beach Animal Control arrived at International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Center with a California Brown Pelican in desperate need of assistance. A fishing lure was hooked not just to the side of the bird’s face, but to its wrist, such that any movement of its head or wing would tug at the wounds on each. All three barbs on each end of the lure – six barbs in total – were embedded into the Pelican’s flesh and, as shown below, had to be snipped for extraction. Judging by the advanced parasitic state of the wound on its face, with a huge opening below the eye and around the hinge of its jaw, this bird must have been in this predicament for several days before being rescued.

The lure removed, and the wound flushed, the Pelican was started on antibiotics and will require surgery when it has been stabilized.

The very sight of this bird’s injuries inspires an immediate empathy in all of us, but every bird that comes through our doors is there for a reason… and we treat about 5,000 of them every year. We need your help in order to help them all. If you haven’t made a gift this year, please consider doing so today.

Every bird matters.