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Seabirds poisoned by pills in Huntington Beach park are recovering

A Canada Goose and a Ring-billed Gull are being treated by Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center after ingesting pills that were dumped at Carr Park.
(Photo courtesy of Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center)

Two birds are recovering at a wildlife care center after officials said the animals overdosed on pills dumped at Carr Park in Huntington Beach.

Last week, authorities said, a man spotted hundreds of pills on the grass at the park. After seeing a goose in distress, he called animal control.

A Canada goose and a ring-billed gull ended up receiving treatment from the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center, according to the center. The gull was brought in Dec. 17 and the goose the following day.

“Both showed symptoms of drug overdose,” said Lisa Peronne, the center’s wildlife manager.


Symptoms included “twitching of head and complete loss of motor control.”

The birds’ treatment consisted of pushing IV fluids through their system to flush out the drugs.

The types of pills the birds ingested were not immediately identified.

“We’re not really clear as to the reasoning behind the pills being there,” Peronne said. “Both birds are doing real well now.”


The goose is scheduled for release Wednesday. The gull, which recently began flying again, will be reevaluated the same day.

The birds are expected to make a full recovery. The possible long-term effects of the poisoning are unknown.

The center, which is located on Pacific Coast Highway east of Newland Street, treats about 5,000 animals annually, many of them seabirds injured by improperly disposed fishing lines or hooks.

Peronne called the pills an anomaly.

“This is not something we’ve ever seen,” she said. “This is definitely a one-off.”