BY Advocate Contributors
February 10 2010 10:00 AM ET
Fairfield and San Pedro, Calif. // 58
Many people who devote their lives to animal welfare do so out of a sense of duty to unappreciated species on this mortal coil. “As a shy and insecure kid, I really found wild animals wonderful, appealing, free, and elusive. I was just drawn to them,” says Jay Holcomb. As executive director of the California-based International Bird Rescue Research Center, Holcomb is routinely called upon for his avian expertise when natural and man-made disasters occur around the world. Rescue operations for severe oil spills that he has managed snare most of the press attention—recall, for example, the fall of 2007, when the tanker ship Cosco Busan struck the San Francisco Bay Bridge, spilling 54,000 gallons of bunker fuel and killing thousands of surf scoters, grebes, and cormorants. “I cannot talk enough about how our attitudes about life and nature affect their world,” Holcomb says. “It’s why I do this work and why I find these bird precious, invaluable, and very much worth our efforts to help when needed.”
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