Today, October 4th, is World Animal Day – a date dedicated to the worldwide improvement of animal welfare. In honor of this day, I had the opportunity to attend a special event hosted by International Bird Rescue at their wildlife center based in San Pedro, California. The IBR hosted a special tour of their facilities to give us a firsthand look at the work they do to rescue distressed birds, and got a little help from some special volunteers: Actors Adrian Grenier and Keegan Allen. Both stars are huge animal lovers and wanted to lend their profiles to this event as a way to raise awareness for the important work being done.
The tour kicked off with a crash course from Dr. Rebecca Duerr on how to examine an injured bird. This California Brown Pelican was admitted due to a broken wing.
After checking in on these bird patients, the next stop on the tour was a washing station, where one of the volunteers explained why they use Dawn dish soap to clean oiled birds. As I mentioned in my “Day in The Wildlife” article earlier this week, International Bird Rescue discovered through their research that Dawn was the best substance to use for this process. Inspired by this discovery and the organization’s request for help, Dawn began donating both its product and funds to both IBR and The Marine Mammal Center to assist with the cause.
Next, we visited a feeding station where we were shown how the birds’ food of mealworms and krill is prepared. Mmmm!
The volunteers at International Bird Rescue put in all of this hard work because of one goal: Getting these injured birds rehabilitated and released back into the wild. So it was a privilege that we were able to end our tour by witnessing a bird release down at White Point Beach!
Andrew Harmon, Director of Marketing & Communications at International Bird Rescue, welcomed us to this special moment and told us about the birds that were about to be set free after being successfully rehabilitated: A California Brown Pelican, a Brown Booby, and seven Western Gulls.
Myself and the other members of the media in attendance anxiously waited as the crates containing the rescued birds were brought down to the beach.
Keegan Allen and Adrian Grenier were given the honors of opening the crates to release the birds.
I can’t think of a better way top celebrate World Animal Day than by seeing these birds return to their natural habitat! To get a look through the eyes of the volunteers and all that they do to prepare for this moment, check out this awesome “Virtual Volunteer” video:
I’ll have much more to share with you from my experiences this week, including an interview with Keegan Allen about his involvement with IBR, so stay tuned for more on this amazing organization!
How are you celebrating World Animal Day?