OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The pelicans of Ocean Springs Front Beach got reacquainted with a Mother Nature they hadn't seen since taking a beating from Hurricane Isaac.
"They were just basically weather beaten," said Alison Share from Wildlife Care and Rescue. "They needed a couple of days of R and R. The last couple of dozen pelicans that we've picked up over the last couple of days have had very badly ulcerated eyes, so we're working on medicating them. The ulceration has probably comes from the sand and the wind blowing on them constantly. And we have unfortunately a lot of them come in with broken wings and things like that too."
Wildlife Care and Rescue has received more than 300 calls about injured and stranded wildlife.
Officials say along with taking care of pelicans and other birds, they've also taken in about 60 baby squirrels.
"We don't have huge number of volunteers, but God bless the ones that we do have," Share said. "They have just been working relentlessly with me to get most of these animals taken."
Officials encourage people who find injured wildlife to call their hotline and talk to a trained volunteer before handling the animal -- that's because sometimes people mean well but may actually do more harm than good.
"One of the biggest issues that we've been faced with so far is a lot of people that are finding like these baby squirrels, they want to feed them before they're contacting us and we have lost a number of them to aspiration where people are getting fluids down in their lungs," Share said. "They are also giving them inaccurate diets and that's really hampering our ability to be able to raise them and release them."
In the end, wildlife experts are looking to nurse the birds back to full health. It's a happy ending everyone hopes to see.