one picture is worth a thousand words, then those two say it all.
It's simple. The pelicans need help. They were born and raised wild,
nurtured to be free-flying. At some point in their existential trajectories,
they were hurt. Some injuries probably were human-caused, intentionally.
Others, from fishing lines, for instance, were unintentional injuries,
although in law negligence is sometimes difficult to distinguish
from intention. Some injuries undoubtedly were accidental: dives
too steep or hitting the water at wrong angles. Learning to fish
is difficult. Many young pelicans do not survive.
there's more. I have volunteered at the seabird pond of the Santa
Barbara Wildlife Care Network for more than five years. The pond
is located in June Taylor's backyard in the Goleta foothills. I've
never met anyone so dedicated, so caring as June. This site is my
thank you and my effort to help her, to help the birds. What the
pelicans require most for their needs is money. I hope through this
site to raise awareness ... and money
for their care.
there's still more. These creatures (and all the others in the care
of the Wildlife Care Network) were rescued in good faith. They have
been cared for in similar good faith by volunteers, thanks to the
generous, big-hearted donors who provide money for fish. Everyone
loves or is fascinated by pelicans — actually, the image on
the SBWCN brochure and on mailings is of an adult pelican, one very
like the unreleasable Santa Barbara 12 individuals.
the Board of Directors of the SBWCN decided it could not afford
to continue to support unreleasables — or at least not many
of them. The SBWCN mission is solely or at least primarily rehabilitation.
In the future, maybe, in the new facility there will be space for
a "small education exhibit" with a few unreleasables.
Will there be room at all for any of these pelicans pictured here?
most non-profits, the SBWCN struggles for operating funds. Fish
for pelicans is expensive. This puts the burden even more on these
unfortunate birds. They can not go out and stir up their own support.
They can't go like the owls and raptors of the fine Eyes in
the Sky program of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society and be
exhibited, calling attention to themselves, raising some of their
own essential funds.
feel there is a moral obligation for the SBWCN to help, to continue,
that is, the care the organization and its volunteers have begun.
On May 8 at the seabird pond, I made a presentation to this effect
about these pelicans to the Board of Directors. I received no response
(excepting a few negative comments) from the board members, good
people all, undoubtedly, about the need for a sanctuary for the
having the money myself to donate, I contribute this web site.
hope that the SBWCN will change its policy. Surely, there are generous
people who can provide a permanent endowment. There are many unreleasable
creatures in the care of volunteers at their homes. What will happen
to these animals when something happens to the volunteers? Many
of them, the volunteers, that is, are aging. Surely, there is a
responsibility to continue the care the Network initiated —
or find an alternative sanctuary where these birds can loaf and
bond and be teaching attractions, too, to humans!Actually, there
is a great need for a sanctuary in the California Central Coast
area for injured but otherwise healthy wild animals.
These guys can be considered models, perhaps, a small portion of
the variations within their species. They're lessons, too, in kindness
and taking responsibility. Here they are,
12 pelicans, as they were this (2004) summer at the pond.
They look alike in their photographs, probably, but each has a unique
personality and character and, I believe, a consciousness, a spirit,
as do all other living creatures.
taken responsibility for their lives. I believe firmly we have an
obligation to continue.
PelicanLife.org is my effort and contribution. Thank
you for your interest. I hope you
Betsy Robertson Cramer