Patient of the Week: Brown Pelican with severe pouch laceration
It may be gull month but we, of course, have had a ton of other animals needing help come our way!
Brown Pelican “Red-111” (temporary band #) came to our Los Angeles wildlife center with an unusual and severe pouch laceration – not as large as Pink the Pelican’s tear but much more difficult to repair. A large piece of the front of the pouch was ripped off the bird’s jaw, leaving a great big hole and the pouch piece hanging like what some people mistook for a fish.
“Pelicans are good at healing mild damage to their pouches, but if they can’t eat they can’t heal,” said Dr. Rebecca Duerr, staff veterinarian,
Unfortunately, the ripped piece was dying, so Dr. Duerr had to remove it, then take a big tuck and sew the opposite side across the gap. It took about 150 stitches to sew the pouch. She is hoping the bird’s pouch will stretch with time now that it has mostly healed and he’s outside in the aviary.
In the meanwhile, he can enjoy the menu and fly around the large flight aviary.