Short-tailed Shearwater wreck in Port Melbourne

To: Richard Nowotny <>, "" <>
Subject: Short-tailed Shearwater wreck in Port Melbourne
From: Debbie Lustig <>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 13:34:27 +1100
The same thing was happening at St Kilda on the same day (Saturday 9/11), 
albeit on a slightly smaller scale. The strong birds were gliding and swooping 
over the waves while the rest either bobbed about, resting, doing nothing to 
avoid the numerous kite-surfers, or lay dead on the sand. I watched one weak 
bird pounded and dragged about in the waves for a while, and felt that it was 
worth trying to rescue. I sought help from an animal rescue professional. He 
arrived and we debated the options of who to take it to. Several phone calls 
later, we learned the following:
Melbourne Zoo and the DEPI's protocol is to euthanise any ST Shearwaters
A Frankston carer had 40 ailing birds handed in and none survived longer than 
three hours. Apparently, they can't handle the stress of being rescued and 
being in captivity
All the birds handed in were well below their normal weight and had breastbones 
'like razors' ie they were wasted and starving
There are some wildlife rehab people who specialise in seabirds but none near 
the inner city beaches 
Someone in St Kilda (illegally) rescued two birds, which died soon after
None of this should put people off trying to rescue other injured birds. The 
hard part can be finding an experienced carer to nurse them back to health. All 
vets are supposed to at least assess injured or sick animals and hopefully send 
them to an appropriate wildlife carer. Or you can try Wildlife Victoria, who do 
a good job but are overworked.
I share Richard's sadness at this awful situation, and wish we could help. But 
it seems we can't. All I can suggest is we go out and watch the birds that are 
still capable of flight, and enjoy the spectacle of them while we can. If I'm 
not mistaken, you need to get right out on the ocean to see ST Shearwaters, 


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