MIAMI (WSVN) - After Hurricane Irma sent an influx of birds to the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, the hospital is now asking for help from the community.
The seabird station was one of the many locations working to prepare for Irma. However, it was no simple task.
“We treat about a hundred species a year, about 2,000 patients,” said Christopher Boykin, Executive Director of Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. “It was very scary. A lot of our staff evacuated, a lot of our volunteers did. Evacuating all the patients was a lot more work than we anticipated to keep them out of harm’s way and then to provide care to the patients during the storm.”
Luckily, the building did not suffer too much damage. However, now, more patients than ever are coming in due to Irma.
“We usually have between four and five patients come in every day, on average,” said Sarah Curry, Communications Coordinator for the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. “After the hurricane, we had 28 patients in two days.”
Curry described how the birds may have gotten injured during the storm.
“As a bird being outside in [the storm], they kind of can hunker down and gather together, but it’s really stressful,” she said. “They come in tired and exhausted and needing fluids and needing rest, so that’s what we’re seeing.”
Now, the Seabird Station is turning to the community to help make sure more birds have a safe place they can fly home to.
“This hurricane is a great reminder that these animals need our help and Pelican Harbor is the place to bring them if you find an injured native bird or other wildlife,” Curry said.
Injured wildlife is either picked up by the staff or dropped off by good Samaritans. People looking to drop off animals may also call the station in advance, and they will schedule an Uber to pick them up.
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