One wing and a prayer

BRAVE BIRD: The Twinnies and their sister Mishele Blizzard with Charlie the pelican.
BRAVE BIRD: The Twinnies and their sister Mishele Blizzard with Charlie the pelican.

CHARLIE the female pelican is a Queensland flood survivor.

For more than a year the graceful bird has managed to keep itself alive near Wivenhoe Dam despite its wing being severely mangled by flood debris.

The Sunshine Coast's seabird rescue family, twins Bridgette and Paula Powers and their older sister Mishele Blizzard, are determined to give Charlie a fighting chance.

But they need your help.

Ms Blizzard said Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts initiated the bird's rescue last week as it was obviously in distress.

"He called in the rescue last week," Ms Blizzard said.

"They sent out a lady from Emergency Services called Charlie - we named the pelican after her - to capture the bird.

"They used the Emergency Services boat and asked us what to do."

The twins gave explicit instruction on Pelican Rescue 101: "Secure yourself in the boat and then grab the bird's legs, pull it on the boat quickly and hold it by the wings."

They met Charlie the rescuer and her namesake at Kilcoy.

The family could tell immediately that Charlie's situation wasn't a good one.

"One of her wings wasn't pointing down (as it should), it was pointing up and it was very weak."

Charlie was taken to a vet and an x-ray revealed her wing was a "big mess" and would have to be amputated.

"I don't know how she survived so long with the pain and trauma," Ms Blizzard said.

"Her wing was crushed, it was totally twisted up and then mended that way."

Ms Blizzard said the Department of Environment and Resource Management policy with birds that had to have a limb amputated was to euthanise them.

"We want to give Charlie a fighting chance," she said.

They are applying to DERM for a permit to keep the bird for "educational purposes".

"If we get permission to amputate its wing it can stay on the property," Ms Blizzard said.

"She has survived this far, we can use her for educational purposes and for breeding."

They need you to email your support for a permit for Charlie to

Topics:  pelican

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