Injured wildlife given a chance to heal

Published 9:49 am Friday, November 1, 2019

On Monday, Oct. 28, the Roanoke Island Animal Clinic received an unusual visitor that is now under the care of Dr. Mark Grossman and staff.

“We haven’t had an injured pelican in a while,” Grossman said. A juvenile pelican that is now being housed at the animal clinic until it heals was found floating in the surf at Altoona Street access in Nags Head. Grossman said x-rays show no fractures, however his left wing is injured. Staff also found a gash in its back that has since been repaired.


Courtesy Roanoke Island Animal Clinic

Grossman said pelicans like this one do well in the clinic’s kennels while they are being rehabilitated. The staff hoses the bird down two or three times a day to keep it cool and makes sure it has lots of food and water. Grossman suggested that the pelican may have been struck from beneath by a large fish, but cannot confirm.

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“They are beautiful animals,” Grossman said as he assessed the left wing. Grossman decided to wrap the wing to speed up the healing process.

Usually Grossman will send the birds brought in down to Lou Brown in Hatteras. “He is an unbelievable rehabber,” Grossman said. However, a Wanchese fish house is able to provide the clinic will fish on a daily basis. For that reason, Grossman felt it best to keep the pelican there with his staff.


A small bird was brought into the Roanoke Island Animal Clinic with wounds on its back and stomach. Danielle Puleo photo

Another bird was brought in the following day, Oct. 29. Staff identified the bird as a species of sandpiper. The little bird had been bitten and had wounds on its back and stomach. “It was probably bit by a small animal. Maybe a cat or smaller dog,” Grossman said as he looked at the wounds. The bird seemed to be functioning normally with no major trauma. “It can get better now, you see,” Grossman said. “He now has a chance to heal.”

Roanoke Island Animal Clinic is located at 107 Russell Twiford Rd. in Manteo.