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Saving Pelican 895 (2011)

Presents the story of the effort to save the 895th surviving oiled pelican in Louisiana, showing how conservationists, government agencies and wildlife activists joined forces to preserve this one life.
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Michael Carloss ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jay Holcomb ...
Himself - Wildlife Rehab Manager

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Presents the story of the effort to save the 895th surviving oiled pelican in Louisiana, showing how conservationists, government agencies and wildlife activists joined forces to preserve this one life.

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Documentary | Short

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1 April 2011 (USA)  »

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A 895. pelikán  »

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Close-up look at oil spill's toll on sea birds
15 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When a deadly explosion rocked the BP oil rig in 2005, 2.2 million gallons of oil a day started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The blast killed 15 people and spawned economic strife in Louisiana. Less well known was the impact on animal life. This documentary focuses on the state bird, the homely brown pelican, and particularly on an oil-soaked juvenile dubbed No. 895.

The main surprise in this film is the amount of effort that goes into rehabilitating one fowl -- a process that takes weeks of work in several locations. At times I wondered which was worse -- the bird's petroleum coating or the extreme stress it endured as care workers forced medication down its gullet, kept its beak clamped shut, or gave it a vigorous scrubbing.

Pelican 895 is a hardy little fellow and the camera often focuses on its eyes. One senses some depression there.

The story ends on a happier note when we see 895 linger on a stretch of shoreline, give its wings a hearty shake, and triumphantly take to the skies -- even adopting a family of sorts when it takes its place in a "V" formation.

The well-meaning, BP-funded rehabilitation effort enabled some 1,250 pelicans to be cleaned and returned to their habitat. (Some 7,000 died in the incident.) Such efforts take scores of people and this film doesn't make it entirely clear where all these earnest do-gooders came from. One wonders how they earned a wage before the disaster...

Still, the film does a creditable job of hinting at the potential problems when you have 3,400 oil rigs in the Gulf.


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