Ending the Year – Upside Down

The end of the year brought trauma to a Barred Owl from Crosby.  The owl became trapped in a batting cage net and the more he twisted the more tangled he became.  Kind rescuers braved the cold drizzly weather to free the owl.  The net had to be cut and the owl was rushed to the Wildlife Center where an exam showed no broken bones.  The owl was given warm fluids and put under a heat lamp.  Several hours later he was standing and appeared to be in good shape.  A week or two of cage rest and some good food should have this owl up and back hunting in his Crosby neighborhood.  This owl and five other animals became the last patients of the 2009 year.  The Crosby owl was joined by an injured opossum, a pelican, two red-tailed hawks and a screech owl.  All were examined, treated and medications administered.  They as with the owl were tucked into warm cages as they ushered in the new year with a new chance at life.   Each year the Wildlife Center takes in over 7000 injured ill or orphaned wildlife.  WR&E staff and volunteers are always curious which species will be the first of the new year.  The first animal for the 2010 new year was a gorgeous adult red tailed hawk.  He was found in a yard on High Island, with an injured wing.  After a ride on the ferry to Galveston and a car trip up I-45 he arrived at the Wildlife Center.  A through exam revealed a sprained wing that probably occurred when it hit a power line or moving vehicle.  The first few days of the new year proved to be very busy [...]

High-rise Pelican

A Brown Pelican hatched in the spring and learned to fend for himself during the heat of the summer. But he was still young and inexperienced when the rain and cold came. A freeze drove the fish deeper into the water to escape the cold and he had a hard time finding enough food. Some Brown Pelicans migrate to warmer climates for the winter, others stay here year-round and stake out the better fishing areas and then there are the newbies. Every winter, sick, weak and parasite filled adolescent Brown Pelicans move inland in search for food. The call was intriguing; a Brown Pelican had parked itself on the fifth floor balcony of a high-rise condo downtown. It looked bewildered and seemed too weak to fly. The Brown Pelican is an endangered species and while the numbers are rebounding, they haven’t been delisted. WR&E doesn’t have the resources to respond to most wildlife calls,  occasionally a case is so extreme and retrieval so dangerous that volunteers feel compelled. In this case, WR&E enlisted the help of the Houston SPCA Rescue drivers. The Houston SPCA and WR&E are affiliated organizations and we work jointly to aid animals in crisis.  Back at the Wildlife Center, the pelican was found to be emaciated and dehydrated. Once the immune system was compromised, the intestinal parasites that were kept in check had begun to wildly multiply. A veterinarian from Texas A&M Veterinary School and her students performed a complete examination. The pelican was given medication for the parasites and warm fluids via gavage feeding. A video of the pelican being gavage fed will be posted soon. A e-mail “blast” will be sent to our distribution list when this video is [...]

Status Update: Pelican & Osprey

Numerous inquires about the Brown Pelican that presented with numerous problems including a treble hook in his mouth and the Osprey with the burned feet and feathers has prompted this update. “Buddy” the pelican (as named by his rescuers) is now healthy and strong. The old badly healed wing break still prevents him from being released into the wild, but Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville is still waiting for Buddy and his two companions. All they are waiting on is paperwork and a ride.           The Osprey whose feathers and feet were burned (perhaps by a flare)  is holding her own. She doesn’t like the same type fish that the other fish eating birds adore, so a volunteer frequents a fish market for tempting meals. While she’s not out of the woods yet, we are very hopeful.

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