Skip to content

Injured pelican rehabilitated in Burnaby set for release

An injured Endangered American White Pelican that was rehabilitated in Burnaby is set to be released back into the wile.
pelican burnaby
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 British Columbia lake. Wildlife Rescue Association says in a statement that the pelican, one of North America's largest birds, boasting a nearly three-metre wing span, was stranded on a southern Okanagan lake near Oliver when the rest of its flock flew south for the winter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Wildlife Rescue Association **

An injured Endangered American White Pelican that was rehabilitated in Burnaby is set to be released back into the wile.

The pelican was separated from its migratory flock in October 2019 due to entanglement from a fishing line hook on Tuc-el-nuit Lake in Oliver, B.C. After notification by local residents, Burnaby’s Wildlife Rescue team rescued the pelican and it was treated and rehabilitated at the Wildlife Rescue hospital for the last seven months.

Biologists recently spotted the migratory flock return to one of their breeding grounds at Puntzi Lake, said a news release.

Photo: Carolyn Madge An injured pelican found friends in the Oliver community it found itself stranded in. The Burnaby Wildlife Centre has been called in to help.

“These types of situations are challenging because of the specialized care and treatment facilities needed,” said Janelle Stephenson, Wildlife Rescue Hospital manager. “Pelicans are large-bodied birds with small legs and feet. They are designed to be floating on water not walking or sitting on hard surfaces. Our local climate was one of the largest challenges. We adapted by setting up an indoor heated pool to mimic his natural winter environment. He stayed in there as we spent countless hours managing his wound, infection, nutrition, and waterproofing of his feathers. He took months to recover from his initial injury. Once healed and as the weather warmed, he acclimated to our local climate where he learned how to fly again in a larger outdoor enclosure.” Severe damage to the left wing, including multiple punctures and a large tear in the skin above the elbow, indicated long-term treatment over winter for pelican to ensure a safe and successful return to the wild.

You can donate to this association at If members of the public see wildlife in distress, contact the Wildlife Help Centre at 604-526-7275.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks