Local Wildlife Care Center to release rehabilitated pelicans at Aliso Beach

The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center (WWCC) is gearing up for a heartwarming event set to take place at Aliso Beach on June 17 at 11 a.m. Approximately 10 brown pelicans, fully recovered from a recent mass-stranding event, will take flight back into the wild, marking a significant milestone in their journey to recovery.

Since April 2024, the WWCC has been on the front lines of a rescue operation, admitting a staggering 217 brown pelicans suffering from starvation. The exact cause of this mass stranding is still under investigation, but what’s clear is that these birds were found in dire conditions – severely emaciated, dehydrated and infested with parasites. Thanks to the diligent efforts of volunteers and staff, coupled with generous donations from the public, most of these pelicans have been nursed back to health.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Ten brown pelicans will be released on June 17

“Many of the pelicans we’ve cared for came in with secondary issues, ranging from fishing gear injuries to skeletal abnormalities,” said Debbie McGuire, MBA, executive director of the WWCC. “While some are still undergoing treatment, we’re thrilled that at least 10 of them are now ready to be released back into their natural habitat.”

The pelicans scheduled for release have been federally banded with aluminum USGS bands for tracking purposes, contributing valuable data to conservation efforts. However, McGuire emphasizes that their work is far from over. With 76 pelican patients still under their care, ongoing support from the community is vital to sustaining their mission.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received,” said McGuire. “Every donation, no matter the size, helps provide food and care for these magnificent birds. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for brown pelicans and other wildlife.”

The WWCC invites the public to join them at Aliso Beach for this special event, celebrating the resilience of these pelicans and the collective efforts that have brought them back from the brink of demise. For those unable to attend, donations can be made through the WWCC’s website at www.wwccoc.org.


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