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A number of sick pelicans are needing treatment and experts aren’t sure why

Emaciated pelicans are being treated in Santa Barbara County
Joshua J Cotten
Emaciated pelicans are being treated in Santa Barbara County

They were once on the endangered species list and are now a magnificent sight along our coastline.

A large number of dehydrated and emaciated pelicans are being treated at the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network in Goleta.

"It's very hard to say what the cause is, but for whatever reason, they're just not connecting with their food source," explained Ariana Katovich, the executive director of the non-profit organization. She says conservation of these majestic birds is important.

"Our California brown pelican was on the endangered species list. We see these pelicans flying in large numbers today, and it's really a true success story of how conservation efforts really have an impact. And when we have them in care, you really do get the sense that these animals are, you know, prehistoric and they seem very wise and they're just incredible animals."

All members of the public who see a pelican in distress in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are encouraged to call the Wildlife Helplineat 805-681-1080 before attempting rescue of an animal or to report an animal that needs help.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.