On April 2, Naples City Council voted 6-1 to ban the use of more than one hook at the City of Naples Pier, the first pier in the state with a law prohibiting use of multiple hooks. Since December 2013, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has logged a staggering 1,700-percent increase in injured pelican admissions to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. In recent months we funded two part-time patrol officers and installed signs at the City of Naples Pier to support these efforts. We engaged citizens in an education campaign, providing training about ways to prevent and humanely respond to the immediate needs of injured birds.
We express our gratitude to responsible anglers; it is the “Pier to Peer” support you show one another, assisting in-the-moment to detangle and unhook pelicans which helps to prevent more serious injuries. Thank you to residents and community groups, including Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, for participating in our training sessions and become ambassadors to the public on prevention of and response to injured pelicans. This is a terrific example what we as a community can accomplish together.
If you need information on how to properly assist an animal in distress, call the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at 239.262.2273.