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Juvenile brown pelican rehabbed and released at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge released “Comet,” a juvenile brown pelican, behind Al’s Beach Club and Burger Bar at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island on Thursday morning. “Comet is patient 1,448 […]

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge released “Comet,” a juvenile brown pelican, behind Al’s Beach Club and Burger Bar at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island on Thursday morning.

  • The release marks a continuing collaboration between Saltwater Restaurants and the Refuge as part of the company’s Safety, Environment and Activities (S.E.A.) Initiative. Saltwater Restaurants donated $10,000 to support the refuge’s conservation efforts and PeliPad rehabilitation enclosure.

“Comet is patient 1,448 and so far this year we’ve taken in 1,470 animals,” said Pascal Robin, executive director of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. “He actually came from the Okaloosa Pier. Someone brought him in because he was lethargic and after doing an X-ray on him, they realized that he had swallowed a hook.”

Swallowing hooks is common for shorebirds in fishing communities, Robin said. The refuge treated Comet with antibiotics, pain medication and “cotton fish” to help him pass the hook.

  • Cotton fish is just that: It’s cotton inside of a fish that the Refuge feeds their animals in need. The goal is for the cotton to catch on the barb of the hook, and then the bird will pass it.

“We try not to do surgery on them, because animals, birds especially, don’t do very well under anesthesia,” Robin said.

After recovering in the medical center, Comet spent about a week and a half gaining strength in the PeliPad.

“I always love bringing them back to where they came from,” Robin said. “I’m excited.”

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“Would like to know this as well.”
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“This is Awesome/ Thank You for Your Service Reuse an Recycle”
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“Carolyn, there is two of them this year, the one at the fairgrounds is still on the 27th”
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“I thought this was scheduled for April 27th at Fair grounds in FWB.”
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“Is there a limit on the amount?”
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“Couldn’t the tennis courts be used for Pickle Ball Courts?”
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“How come we haven't heard about any charges or anything about the person who hit this lady ?”
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“Stayed at the Calypso resort last week. Overran with immaturity. Teens were throwing beer bottles from the balcony and dog shit while kids were swimming in the pools below.”
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