Wildlife group reminds of pollution dangers after pelican hurt in Okanagan lake

The bird was found in a lake near Oliver

An American white pelican is shown in this handout photo. An endangered American white pelican faces a long recovery after being injured by some fishing line discarded in a lake near Oliver, B.C. (Wildlife Rescue Association photo)

An endangered American white pelican faces a long recovery after being injured by some fishing line discarded in an Okanagan lake.

The Wildlife Rescue Association says in a statement that the pelican, one of North America’s largest birds, was stranded on a lake near Oliver when the rest of its flock flew south for the winter.

The bird was unable to fly because the discarded fishing line had badly damaged its left wing, causing several punctures and a large tear in the skin.

A team was able to capture the severely dehydrated and emaciated pelican, and Wildlife Rescue says its medical team has determined there is a good possibility for recovery with long-term care and treatment.

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Janelle Stephenson, hospital manager for the non-profit association, urges the public to learn how to recognize and reduce risks to animals from discarded items such as fishing line.

“Wildlife Rescue’s help centre provides information to support the public by clarifying the steps needed,” Stephenson says in the statement.

“The best outcome for wildlife is when rescue teams can respond quickly and provide immediate treatment to eliminate infection, starvation and potential death.”

The Canadian Press

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