We had a great turnout at our 45th celebration in San Pedro. Photo: Katrina Plummer
Last Saturday, July 30th, at our San Pedro wildlife rehabilitation center, we joined the community in celebrating 45 years of service to aquatic bird species. Dawn and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) joined forces as our main sponsors and helped us put together a phenomenal event.
We were beyond thrilled to have Joel Sartore as our keynote speaker at the event. Joel specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes around the world. He is the founder of the Photo Ark project, a 25-year photographic documentary to save species and habitat. In his words, “it is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.” He certainly inspired our group to continue this quest to respond to, rehabilitate and ultimately protect our wildlife for future generations.
This family-friendly event also featured exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of our wildlife center, educational tables, immersive art with Greenly Art Space, delicious food trucks, and more! We hosted a raffle, with items such as a special weekend at our partners Terranea’s Resort, in which we regularly release birds from their beach-front property.
The highlight of the day was our extraordinary release of a very special pelican that was given, not only a second, but a third chance at life. Dawn hosted a Facebook Live stream of the release that you can watch here: https://www.facebook.com/dawn/videos/10153670480956820/. Pelican N39 came to us at our SF Bay Center back in 2010 emaciated and anemic, and was released after a typical three weeks stay. He had been spotted all over California, up and down the coast and as far north as Washington State. With the help from Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, he came back through our doors at our San Pedro Center with an abdominal puncture wound and toe injury. He stayed a bit longer this time, for five months, until he was ready to be released. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect to pay homage to this landmark occasion. N39 did not hesitate in his flight as he soared out into the open ocean, and back to the wild.
This event beautifully demonstrated how our community can come together to give voice to the wild birds and stand behind their needs. We so are excited that you were able to celebrate with us as we launch into the next phase of Bird Rescue.
Missed it? There’s still time to celebrate! We will be hosting a 45th Anniversary Gala next spring in the San Francisco Bay Area and hope you’ll be able to join us. Stay tuned and thank you again for all that you do for International Bird Rescue!
Many thanks to all of our hard working volunteers, staff, and generous sponsors: POLA, Dawn, McRoberts Sales, Tesoro, OWCN, Princess Cruises, Dr. John and Mrs. Terry Miller, and anonymous donations from long-time supporters. We couldn’t do this without you!
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Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer and founder Of Photo Ark, joined us for an inspirational talk about preserving wildlife through images. Photo: Bill Steinkamp