Pelicans rescued from Everglades recovering

Cause of illness not yet known

Published On: May 07 2013 01:14:36 PM EDT   Updated On: May 07 2013 06:24:31 PM EDT

Two American White Pelicans are recovering at Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami, but the reason they're sick is still a mystery.

The pair is from a group of four pelicans rescued from Everglades National Park over the past couple of days. Two of the pelicans died.

One of them is being treated for botulism. He's too weak to stand, and is being given fluids through an IV and activated charcoal. The other is doing a little better, but has some additional problems.

"He wasn't able to fly," said Jessica Klein, the Seabird Station's interim director. "He's either ingested something and he can't fly because he's either weak or tired, or migration is just hard on him.
The birds were found at

Workers at the Seabird Station went out to Everglades National Park on Saturday and again on Monday to take in some of the sick birds.

"It was easily 100 to 200 birds and there were four different groups but they were all in the same general area in the park," Klein said. "They came about a month ago and haven't left yet."

Klein said a couple of birds they were able to save were both covered in some type of oil. One of them had it inside its bill.

"It's hard to say if that oil came from inside Everglades National Park," Klein said. But she says she doubts it. Since the pelicans are in migration, they may have brought it in from somewhere else.

For now, the surviving pelicans will be kept under close care until they're well enough to be released.