Thanks to an outpouring of support we have been able to order the much-needed capture tool that will help us rescue the wary beer-can collared gulls!
The Coda NetLauncher, a high-tech piece of equipment, will not only serve this one time, but will allow us to help even more hard-to-catch wild animals for many years to come. It's expected to ship this coming Friday.
In the meantime, we plan on attempting a few more captures before the week is over.
We're still asking that the public not try to capture the birds, but instead, they should call our dedicated pager 831-429-2323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report the sighting.
Why should people not try to catch the gulls? Any stalking, lunging, or grabbing at the birds will only make them harder to approach and help. It could also drive them out of the area where they will never be found. We want the gulls to feel more at ease around people - that's why we are not pursuing them daily.
While they're not in any immediate danger, they are miserable as the metal ring causes the feathers to separate, allowing cold air and water to penetrate to the skin. They are also unable to feed normally.
Whoever did this to these birds faces severe penalties and possibly jail time. It's not only an act of animal cruelty but a Federal crime to have harmed a wild bird. We hope the reward, which is now at $3,000.00, will reach $10,000.00 or more through pledges or by the Anheuser-Busch company stepping up.
We contacted them today and are awaiting a return call. It's time they make a statement regarding these acts of cruelty using their product.
THE STORY: It began November 3rd when we, WildRescue and International Bird Rescue (Fairfield) realized there were additional beer-can-collared gulls than the one that had been reported back in September.
We contacted the news and soon word had spread and we became inundated with emails, calls, and photographs about more sightings, confirming additional victims, perhaps as many as five. The birds have been spotted on Stinson Beach, at fishermen's WHarf, Alcatraz, Berkeley, Fremont, and Half Moon Bay.
It's a Federal crime, punishable by severe penalties and potentially jail time. Wild birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is an offense to even touch a wild bird without the proper permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service who administrates the Act. There is a reward for the conviction of those responsible.