Rescuers breathe life back into injured pelican

The Peninsula Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took extraordinary measures to save the life of a lethargic, emaciated and hypothermic pelican found on a Pacifica beach Tuesday.

Lead Wildlife Technician Greg Hassett said in a statement:

“It was clear the pelican was dying. … I decided to try one last effort to save his life by creating a makeshift warming tent of clean towels with warm forced air and provided oxygen to the pelican while keeping his airway open.”

Hassett also administered intravenous drugs to improve circulation.

Another wildlife technician and two interns took turns massaging the pelican and holding the oxygen tube to his airways until the bird began to fight back.

It was the first time the organization had performed a procedure like this, Hassett said:

“After he was breathing more comfortably on his own and wasn’t critically hypothermic, we were able to move him into a warmed kennel for further after care.”

The bird remains in stable condition in the care of the Peninsula Humane Society, where he will be fed a mix of wild bird food powder, water and salmon oil every two hours until he can be returned to the wild.