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Pair of emaciated pelicans found in Tiburon are part of regional trend

Doug Pratt, a resident of The Cove at Tiburon apartments, found this sick pelican on May 5. Marin Humane took it to WildCare wildlife hospital in San Rafael, but it didn’t survive. It’s among several sick pelicans being found across Marin. (Doug Pratt photo)

There was definitely something wrong. The brown pelican was sitting on the walkway at The Cove at Tiburon apartments and hadn’t moved in two hours, Cove resident Doug Pratt told Marin Humane in a May 5 call. An officer arrived with a blanket shortly after and carefully loaded the docile bird into an animal carrier. It was taken to WildCare wildlife hospital in San Rafael, where it was found to be severely malnourished.


A day later, on May 6, Mar East Street resident Carl Morabito spotted a pelican sitting on his steps down to the bay. The bird raised its giant wings but did not fly away, Morabito said. He called Marin Humane, and that pelican, too, was taken to WildCare, where it was treated for starvation.

They are among hundreds of starving and injured brown pelicans that have been admitted to wildlife-rescue centers this spring, wildlife experts say. WildCare spokesperson Alison Hermance said the rescue center admitted nine pelicans in May, a slight rise from the usual numbers. Several of those birds have been transferred to International Bird Rescue Center in Fairfield, which has admitted more than 200 birds since April 20, a spokesperson said.

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