November 23 2015
Gary Slatkow didn't expect to be doing any kind of rescue work when he headed out in his boat for another relaxing, beautiful day on the ocean.
How fortunate for the pelican he encountered, though, that Gary was there and alert, and recognized the injured creature was in trouble.
Gary's familiarity with these large "friends" with whom he shares these waters has resulted in quite a few other rescues. This one, however, was quite critical as this pelican had not only a bad elbow injury, but he had complete loss of vision in one eye.
Already weak and emaciated from his inability to function and secure fish, this pelican would have soon died without the help of his rescuer and the South Florida Wildlife Center.
Gary and his wife, Michelle, have been involved with SFWC, for several years as active members of our own Development Partnership Council. They are generous monthly sustainer donors and have been outstanding committee members for past fundraising events.
The story about this pelican and his subsequent cataract-removal surgery and recovery was of such interest that it made the South Florida news more than once.
Gary downplays his critical role. To him, it was not a question about whether or even how to effect the rescue -he just gently and capably captured the big bird and transported him here as swiftlyas possible.
Like most hereos, Gary doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. But we know you understand. People like the Slatkows are like so many of you-selfless, brave, and compassionate. Your generosity of spirit is and inspiration.