Just last year the brown pelicans were officially taken off the endangered species list -- living proof that a species brought to the edge of extinction could vigorously come back and stay healthy to once again 'live long and prosper.'
FIRST PESTICIDES, NOW OIL
The first time the state bird of Louisiana was hard hit it was by DDT and other pesticides, resulting in thinning the shells of their eggs, which were then crushed when the adults sat on them for hatching. Pesticides wiped out the pelicans in the 1960s.
Now they are victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and being taken from their rookeries to rescue centers. The National Wildlife Federation is worried that the oil spill may put a stop to the pelican's recovery in Louisiana.
WHAT WILL THAT MUCH OIL DO?
What does hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico do to our wildlife? No, the figures, as of last week, are already 21 million to 46 million gallons of crude oil have been dumped into the Gulf. Neither British Petroleum or our federal regulators apparently have accurate figures for anything involved in the spill.
Pictures of the struggling brown pelican covered in crude symbolizes the damage.
Remember the delightful limerick "The Pelican" by Dixon Lanier Merritt, when you were a kid?
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.