2 pelicans released after treatment at Seabird Station

NORTH BAY VILLAGE, FLA. (WSVN) - A couple of pelicans were released back into the wild, weeks after they were found injured and in need of help.

After some tender loving care at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami, near North Bay Village, it was time to bid farewell to the rehabilitated birds. “No question about it, they were ready to go,” said Carla Zapeda, rescue and release coordinator at the station.

“They were ready to spring out of that cage and hopefully take to the sky soon enough,” Zepeda continued.

The pelicans were rescued months ago and treated for fishing hook and line injuries. “One of them had a really bad pouch tear that needed to be stapled and sutured by a veterinarian,” said Zepeda, “and the other one had a really bad entanglement around his right wing. Most of his feathers were torn off.”

But you wouldn’t know that from the way they took to the water earlier this weekend. “I would say it’s very successful,” said Zepeda. “It’s nice that our pelicans took off great.”

Pelican Harbor is a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation facility dedicated to treating injured seabirds, like Diana, a pelican rescued by a Miami Beach Police officer after flying into a powerline last week.

The renabilitated birds are expected to head to nearby Pelican Island. Established in 1903, the island was the first national wildlife refuge in the country. “A lot of our birds go there to roost and have their babies,” said Zepeda. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d be seeing them there very soon.”

The Seabird Station was founded in 1980 for the sole purpose of helping injured brown pelicans.

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