The Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary was the largest Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Florida, it has closed it's doors to the public in 2006.
Each year their hospital treats over five thousand sick, injured and orphaned birds, mammals and reptiles.
Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary is home to nearly 275 permanently disabled birds that are unable to survive in the wild. Their injuries are typically wing and eye damage as a result of, but not exclusive to, fishing line entanglement, polluted water, colliding with traffic, predator attacks and golf balls.
Why are the birds here?All the birds that live at the Sanctuary were at one time or another brought in by their dedicated Wildlife Rescue volunteers after a caring member of the public had reported a sick, injured or orphaned bird.
Having been rescued, the bird is examined and treated in their hospital by staff veterinarians. Their goal is to rehabilitate and release every bird that is brought to the Sanctuary, but sadly this is not always possible. If their veterinarians and rehabilitator conclude that the injuries to the bird are so severe that it could not survive in the wild, but could live comfortably in captivity, it is given a home in a natural, spacious habitat there at the Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary.
What sort of injuries prevent a bird from being released back into the wild?
There is no hard and fast rule and it is totally dependent on the species of bird and the nature of the injury. Their wildlife rehabilitators must have extensive knowledge of the behavioral and feeding habits of all species of birds in order to be able to assess whether or not the bird has a realistic chance of survival in the wild.
Unless it is very sick, or very badly injured, you may never realize that a bird is in distress, because showing signs of weakness is an open invitation to predators.
But thanks to observant people in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Florida, their rescue volunteers respond to over 9,000 calls each year, with reports of sick or injured wildlife.
They have two trucks on the road every day of the year, driving as far north as the Sunshine Skyway Bridge near St. Petersburg south to Englewood and North Port. Our rescuers do a fantastic job because rescuing a bird is not always easy. As a rule, injured birds do not want to be rescued and, unless they have a wing injury, they have a big advantage over us: they can still fly.
The calls we receive about injured birds describe many sorts of injuries and illnesses. These can cover anything from entanglement in fishing line, broken bones, birds hit by cars
and electrocution by power lines.
We have many reports of seabirds, Cormorants in particular, that are staggering along roads, 'drunk' from eating poisoned fish. Other birds are simply sick and are found lying on beaches not moving. We also receive hundreds of calls about baby birds that have fallen out of their nests, or become orphaned. Birds that can't be re-nested are raised at the Sanctuary.
And then there are the more unusual calls, like the one about an entire flock of Monk Parrots that fell into an open, catering-sized, canister of vegetable oil.
On average, they rescue 5,000 birds each year.
Almost without exception, every one of these birds would be dead if it weren't for the public reporting the bird and the care they receive at the Sanctuary.
The purpose of the Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary is to care for the injured, sick and truly orphaned native and migratory wild birds, mammals and reptiles that are in our hospital, being rehabilitated for release back to the wild or have been placed as one of our permanent residents.
That care strictly follows these five points:
1. To care for wildlife without
taming or imprinting.
2. To preserve function.
3. To treat wildlife so that they can be released, fend for themselves, and reproduce.
4. To end suffering if an animal can't recover to a normal or adaptive life.
5. Above all else, to do no harm.
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Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary
1708 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, Florida 34236