Bondi Vet on Coast pelican mission

Bondi Vet Chris Brown visits Brigette and Paula Powers to see the great work the girls have been doing with injured birds.
Bondi Vet Chris Brown visits Brigette and Paula Powers to see the great work the girls have been doing with injured birds. Warren Lynam

A TALL, good-looking part of Bondi came to the Sunshine Coast yesterday - and had a little town swooning.

But despite the attention from his hoard of female fans, veterinarian Dr Chris Brown - better known as the Bondi Vet - had eyes for only one... six-week-old female pelican Johnnie.

Dr Brown was introduced to the little ball of feathers while filming an episode of his popular TV show at the Twinnies Seabird and Pelican Rescue in Landsborough.

Twin animal-carers Paula and Bridgette Powers played host to Dr Brown yesterday and will release a pelican they nursed back to health with him at Golden Beach today.

Johnnie was one of 10 baby pelicans rescued from the Wivenhoe Dam after their parents fell victim to the severe weather conditions and toxins in the water.

Dr Brown said seeing baby pelicans in captivity was a rare occurrence, as parents usually did such a good job of caring for their young.

Johnnie, the runt of the group, suffered from a ruptured air sac and Dr Brown performed surgery on her yesterday afternoon.

The Twinnies had been keeping her comfortable by manually removing air through a syringe.

A self-confessed pelican lover, Dr Brown said he was hopeful he could save Johnnie through the unique procedure.

"I have operated on many birds before, but I have never done this sort of operation on a pelican," he said.

"Pelicans have so much personality and I want the very best for Johnnie and her siblings," he said.

"With the babies we are working with today, we are taking a big step in helping the population for the future."

Dr Brown said he had long been a fan of the Twinnies and hoped their exchange of knowledge would benefit their 85 patients.

Topics:  animals bondi vet chris brown

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