When we're out on the water, there's no telling what we may run across. Mostly its ocean plastic and other marine debris, but every once in a while we see something that requires a bit more attention. One morning, Charles Leonetti, who is part of our Miami, FL cleanup operation, came across a ring-billed seagull that didn't seem quite right. So, in true 4ocean fashion, he jumped into rescue mode and scooped up the ailing bird for a trip to see our friends at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Rescue Station.
You can check out the video of the rescue and rehabilitation here.
Upon arrival and after a thorough evaluation, it was determined that the gull had botulism. Botulism is a toxin that is naturally occurring in the mud and muck of our waterways and can work its way up the food chain to seabirds which are top predators in the ocean environment. Luckily, the folks at Pelican Harbor Seabird Rescue Station are great at what they do and after a short period of time, the gull was able to make a full recovery.
It was only fitting that Charles was able to be there for the bird's release. And now, thanks to him and the amazing people at PHSRS, the gull is soaring again over Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.
You can see the video of the rescue and rehabilitation here.
Charles cleaning up the shoreline as part of his daily routine.
The gull was sick when Charles found it and it couldn't fly.
Charles jumped into action and brought him aboard.
After 3 weeks of rehab, the gull was ready to fly once again.
Luckily, Charles was able to be there for the release of the gull.
"Good luck. Glad to see you are doing better. You look great. Enjoy the rest of your life," said Charles, right before the release. "And don't get sick anymore!"
At the end of the day, 4ocean is not just in business to clean up ocean plastic pollution and trash. We have a greater vision for the health of the ocean and all the living things that call it home. You can check out all the bracelets we released in 2018 as part of our Legacy Collection. It includes the yellow Seabird Bracelet that helps support BirdLife International.
Also, if you would like to directly support the Pelican Harbor Seabird Rescue Station, please click here to donate on their website. This weekend is their annual fundraising gala so now would be the perfect time to make a donation to their cause.
If you want to learn more about seabirds and the role they play in the environment, check out our Seabird cause page. Don't forget to leave a comment below to wish our feathered friend good luck and let us know what you think of the video.
Also, head on over to our Discover 4ocean Facebook Group and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all things 4ocean!