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Rehabbed brown pelicans released after being contaminated by Gulf oil spill

June 23, 2010 |  5:09 pm


More than five dozen brown pelicans rehabilitated after being contaminated by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been released in Texas.

The 62 pelicans arrived on Coast Guard cargo planes Wednesday and were taken to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge about 175 miles south of Houston. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other groups released the pelicans and one northern gannet, another seabird.

Wednesday's release was the largest to date since the offshore oil rig exploded April 20, triggering the massive oil spill.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Nancy Brown says the refuge was chosen because it has the coastal habitat the pelicans need and was already home to a population of brown pelicans.

Brown pelican, removed from endangered species list, faces a new threat with the Gulf oil spill
Gulf oil spill updates (full coverage from The Times' environment blog, Greenspace)

-- Associated Press

Photo: Pelicans are released at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf coast. Credit: Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

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