Happy New Year 2015
As I sit down to wish all my friends a very Happy New Year 2015, I choose this photo to embellish and turn into a greeting card. This was taken at my "happy place"... White Rock Lake in Dallas. I call it my happy place because it is my get-away fairly close to home. It is here where I can forget all my worries as I become engrossed in photographing the many birds that gather at Sunset Bay, and so it was the day when I photographed this pelican doing a happy dance on a log. It just made me laugh to see him!
I was there shooting with my friend Tess and we were awaiting the arrival of Robin to join us. (Robin the friend, not the bird!) As we stood on the dock, I struck up a conversation with another photographer who was telling me about an incident that evidently occurred at the end of November when a guy allegedly had a gun and was shooting at the birds there at Sunset Bay. I was horrified when he told me this! How could this possibly be? He thought the guy was apprehended by the police and was put in jail.
We wandered over to another area to get a bit closer to the pelicans and by that time, our friend Robin had joined us. I first met Robin on a meetup with the Capture Dallas gang. As we stood there chit-chatting and watching the birds, suddenly Tess cried out... "Look Lala! (She calls me Lala.) That bird is all bloody!" I looked to where she was pointing, and indeed, the bird had a large wound to it's upper neck area and had blood smeared on his upper back. Was this possibly one of the birds that was shot?
I started shooting the bird... NO!... bad choice of words! Let me rephrase that. I started photographing the bird and my heart went out to the innocent creature. I wanted to know more about how he got those wounds. The bird acted OK as he preened his feathers. Immediately next to him was another pelican that did not leave his side.
When I arrived home, the first thing I did was to go to the computer to see if I could find more information about the alleged shooting and this is what I found on the Audubon Dallas website: http://www.audubondallas.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3917
As was written on the site: "Dallas Police now have an individual in custody for disorderly conduct/firearm with a scoped rifle who was at White Rock Lake on Saturday. I have his mugshot and lengthy criminal record. I won't post it since the suspect is innocent until proven guilty.
I have been so upset about this incident and about this poor pelican. Interestingly enough, I met a wildlife vet and biologist at the lake on Christmas day and photographed Dr. Amol and his family. He is very much into the rescue and rehabilitation of injured animals in the wild. I have posted his story in my 100 Strangers Project on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/88326925@N08/15935908869/
I sent off an e-mail to Amol about this injured bird along with a photo. He was aware of this incident as reported. I had also posted the pelican photo to Capture Dallas and there are others on that site who will be keeping an eye on the pelican. I certainly hope that this bird will heal without complications.
For anyone following this blog, you know that my life has been very much influenced by the writing of Marc Bekoff. His books, "The Emotional Lives of Animals" and "The Animal Manifesto... Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint" have touched my heart in a special way. Yes... animals do feel pain, they do have emotional feelings and they deserve to be treated well. It angers me to think that anyone would harm an animal. I will continue to follow this story and will update this post as more information comes available.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2015.
Keywords: Audubon Dallas, Happy New Year, Marc Beckoff, The Animal Manifesto, The Emotional Lives of Animals, White Rock Lake, biologist, injured pelican, pelican, shooting birds, wildlife vet
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