This is Passport to Texas
[SFX brown pelicans calling]
Standing on the shore of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, wildlife veterinarian, Dan Mulcahy, called it a good day for pelicans affected by the oil spill in the gulf.
06—We’re here today to participate in the largest release of oiled pelicans following the oil spill to date.
In late June, 38 animals arrived at Rockport Airport via Coast Guard Jet from a Louisiana rehabilitation center. Their final destination: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
12—They were picked up here at the Rockport Airport by the staff of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and TPW, and were released as fast as we could undo the crates and let them go.
Once free, the birds gathered on the water away from shore and preened, which pleased Nancy Brown from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
03—They can focus on preening as opposed to just surviving.
Texas offers abundant habitat for the pelicans. Yet, these iconic birds still aren’t out of danger. Any long-term health effects from their ordeal are yet unknown.
08—We look forward to coming out here next year and hopefully seeing these birds and hopefully they’re fatter and happier and doing well here on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Before their release, biologists placed a steel band with a unique ID on each bird’s leg to track our newest Texans into what will hopefully be a long and healthy future.
That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.