Pelican stuck in La Brea tar pits, Animal Advocates, Mary Cummins

Pelican dove head first into the La Brea tar pits and got stuck.

A few people forwarded this email to me.

“My husband just arrived at the LaBrea tarpits and there is a pelican that is stuck and dying in the tarpits.  He told the office and they purportedly called animal services – but, if there are any suggestions/help that can be offered to save this bird, that would be appreciated.  Unfortunately, the tarpits just closed for visitors- but, maybe to help this animal they would let someone in?  Any ideas?!?

I called the tar pits and they said they just pulled it out of the tar. Thank god because if they didn’t, I have to go out in their little boat and fish it out myself. I pick up mammals from the tar pits quite often as I am close.

I brought a big crate and towel to transport it thinking it just got a little bit of tar on it. Oh no, it had a ton of tar on it. They easily picked it up and put it in a box. The tar caused it now to be stuck to the cardboard box. The pelican is breathing, eyes are alert. I took the above photo.

I put  him in my car and drove him to West Los Angeles animal shelter where there is an available Officer to drive him to either Peter Wallerstein or International Bird Rescue.

I arrive at the shelter and the pelican is more alert. Officer Radcliff(?) then drives him to the appropriate rescuer. I am only permitted to rescue native wildlife, not federally protected birds. I could easily get the permit but I’m busy enough with mammals and unprotected birds.

Pelican is just barely breathing. Peter Wallerstein had to tape something in his mouth to keep it open. 
UPDATE: “Peter, Mary,
just wanted to give you the update – I’ve just hung up with IBRRC-…sadly the Pelican did not survive.  I’m really sorry…apparently, the bird was an emaciated baby and with the tar, it was too much. Mary, Kaylee (not sure how to spell her name) mentioned that you had called and she asked if I would share this news with you.
I’m really sorry – and so grateful to you both for your amazing and quick response and efforts for this babe.  Kaylee said it was unusual for a Pelican to be brought in from the TarPits- they’ve had hawks and other birds, but this was maybe a first- and that it was unusual for the bird to be so far inland…..Further, she was really thankful for the response and efforts on the Pelicans behalf….
thanks guys – the one thing I have in mind, is that this was a much more merciful passing, filled with caring folks trying to make her more comfortable than had this poor Pelican been stuck in the tarpit.
With kind regards and thanks-
I have found that when I pick up pelicans from odd areas they generally have demoic acid poisoning or something else really wrong with them. 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


About Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Real Estate Appraiser

Mary Cummins is President of Animal Advocates. She is licensed with the California Department of Fish & Game, USDA and the City of Los Angeles to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. Cummins speaks to local community groups and students about respecting wildlife and humane wildlife control. She is also a Humane Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. She has written manuals on small mammal rehabilitation besides numerous articles. She was born and raised in Southern California. She attended Beverly Hills Good Shepherd Catholic School and Beverly Hills High School. Besides being a member of Junior Mensa and on the Dean's list, she was a top ten national swimmer and competed on the men's water polo team. She began college at the age of 15 attending the University of Southern California on scholarship, majoring in Psychology/Sociology. After college Cummins became a licensed real estate agent specializing in income property in Los Angeles. She obtained her real estate appraisal license, real estate brokerage license and currently does real estate consulting, expert witness testimony and review appraisals at Cummins Real Estate Services.
This entry was posted in animal advocates, california, ibrrc, la brea tar pits, los angeles, mary cummins, pelican, peter wallerstein, rescue. Bookmark the permalink.

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