Here's a feel-good animal rescue update to brighten up your week just a little. Back in April, we posted a story about Pink, a brown pelican found in California's Long Beach with a severely slashed throat pouch – a wound described by rescue officials as "consistent with human-caused injury". Happily, Pink's traumatic tale has had the best possible ending: after two life-saving surgeries and lots of TLC, a healthy Pink has now been released back into the wild.  


Rewind just a few weeks and it was a very different pelican that arrived, weak and malnourished, at the International Bird Rescue Center with the "the worst deliberate pouch slashing" staff there had ever seen. The shape of the cut on its pouch (also known as a gular pouch) indicated the wound was deliberately inflicted (rather than an accidental injury on a fishing line or hook).


Two surgeries, hundreds of stitches and some much-needed recovery time at the centre's aviary later, the pelican was ready to resume life in the wild (his veterinarian wanted plenty of healing time to allow his pouch skin to strengthen enough to withstand the high-speed plunge dives brown pelicans are known for). 

Pink's big takeoff back to freedom took place yesterday at a local beach, the Daily Breeze reports, noting that the bird wasted no time in spreading its wings and heading off in the direction of a rocky jetty just offshore with a flock of other birds. 


As for the person responsible for Pink's injuries, a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction still stands. If you'd like to help IBR care for injured birds like Pink, make your donation here.

Top header image: Jay Malone, Flickr