One Friday evening, as Dr Jochem was about to sit down to dinner, he received a call from the clinic vet tech regarding an emergency. Apparently a local resident had come across an injured pelican while on a boat, and reported it to the tech. At the same time, the TNR coordinator of the clinic arrived knocking on the Doctor’s door. She recalled a similar story – someone had called her to let her know that a resident had found an injured pelican who needs help. Jochem put down his meal, and rushed into the clinic to meet the clinic tech.
The tech arrived shortly after, holding a large cardboard box. The local had apparently caught the pelican and put it in a box to stop it getting away. The team rushed into the operating room, box in hand, wondering what they were about to face considering the frantic nature of the callers.
As they opened the box, the team were confronted with not a pelican, but a seagull. Rather shocked themselves, the confused team had to share a smile as the Doctor took the seagull from the box and checked him over for any injuries. The seagull did have a reasonable amount of blood on his feathers on his right side. As the Doctor inspected the wound, it seemed as though it was not too deep and had not caused the bird too much harm. Dr Jochem also checked the throat of the bird to ensure that there was no blood present. The Doctor applied some antibiotics to the wound and the seagull was kept in the clinic overnight to ensure that he would recover fully and that there were no other injuries not immediately visible.
The team went back to their respective homes, with a smile on their faces; proud of the community for their reaction after seeing injured wildlife. The next day the bird was looking even better, with a lot of energy, and the team set him free, watching the “pelican” fly off with such grace.`