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Brookfield Zoo Takes In Gulf Pelicans

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 22, 2010 4:00PM

As BP struggles to keep the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico contained, residents continue clean up and keep an eye on the weather as we head into the heart of hurricane season, and Tony Hayward mulls an early retirement, there's still a disaster to handle. And one of the biggest aspects of the region's recovery will be on the coastal wildlife that's been devastated by what's happened. Brookfield Zoo has lent a hand, taking in five American white pelicans from the region who had been stuck in the oil. The Zoo will also keep an eye on the pelicans to see what the long-term effects of their exposure to the oil spill. According to the Zoo:

Three of the pelicans are adult age and the other two are estimated to be less than 2 years old as they still have sub-adult plumage. All five birds, rescued from the Mississippi Canyon area off the coast of Louisiana, had sustained wing injuries prior to the oil spill that prevented them from migrating this past spring to their northern breeding range. When the oil spill occurred the birds, which were slight to moderately oiled, joined other wildlife species that needed human intervention. They were treated for their injuries by volunteers working with the International Bird Rescue Research Center and Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. Once they were treated, cleaned, and stabilized, the pelicans were transported to Jackson Zoo until permanent homes could be found for them.

After a 30-day quarantine period, the pelicans will go on permanent exhibit at the zoo.