The rescue & release of Mr Percival
A pelican who was found struggling to survive on March 28 at Back Beach in South West Rocks was released back into the wild at South West Rocks on
Mr Percival, as he was affectionately known by his rescuers, a number of South West Rocks’ women, made a full recovery while under the care of the
veterinarians at Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour.
Dolphin Marine Magic veterinarian Dr Duan March told the Argus it was a perfect release.
“It has food, peers, shelter,” he said.
“Ideally, you’re after a soft release in a protected area and calm conditions, and this is great.”
Dr March said initially it didn’t look as though the pelican would survive but it responded to treatment rapidly.
“He was really weak,” he said.
“At first we thought it was fishing line or fishing hook but x-rays showed there was no hook.
“Thanks to Blue and White Vet Clinic in Coffs, they didn’t charge us.
“So we gave him an antibiotic and fluids, and he responded really quickly.
“Based on how quickly he recovered, it was dehydrated.
“It also had a high white blood cell count, indicating infection.
“He also had a gut problem.
“It had black stools, which returned to green-brown after a few days, as its demeanour improved as well.”
Dr March said Dolphin Marine is a marine park, so has captive animals but also devotes resources to rescuing marine fauna.
“We’ve got animals in captivity, but it gives us an opportunity to help wild animals as well,” he said.
“It’s vitally important to care for wildlife and preserve the environment and whenever we can we love involving the children in the process as well.”
The woman who called Dolphin Marine, Nerida Jeffery said it was a really special and heartwarming occasion.
“If he’d been left there he wouldn’t be alive today,” she said.
“It’s great to see him come back to where he should be.
“It’s nice that these guys (Dolphin Marine staff) came all the way from Coffs to save him a week ago and were willing to bring him back here.
“He’s been in really good hands and they’ve kept me updated.”
Mrs Jeffery said the women wouldn’t have been able to get Mr Percival off the beach if it wasnt’t for the rescue team from Dolphin Marine.
“He kept snapping and he was really heavy, but they caught him really quickly and the three men took turns carrying him off the beach.
“They held its beak shut to prevent it snapping, but kept a finger in and across its beak so that the pelican could still breathe.”
Mrs Jeffery said she just wanted people to know they can call Dolphin Marine if they come across injured or sick wildlife that needs assistance.
You can contact Dolphin Marine Magic on (02) 6659 1906.
Story & image courtesy of The Macleay Argus