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Hurricane Beryl Leaves Hundreds of Birds Injured, Orphaned


Hurricane Beryl, which made landfall in Texas early Monday as a Category 1 storm, has torn a path of destruction not only impacting Texans but significantly affecting the state’s wildlife, particularly birds.

The ferocious storm knocked out power to nearly 3 million homes and businesses, while claiming at least three lives. As it roared inland, Beryl weakened to a tropical storm and later to a tropical depression.

Along with the human toll of widespread power outages and property damage, the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been mobilized in rescue efforts.

Birds on Sunday stand in the water in Port Lavaca, Texas. The Houston SPCA on Monday rescued hundred of egrets injured in the devastating Hurricane Beryl. (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images)

The SPCA has focused on Cypress, a suburb northwest of Houston. The organization on Monday reported a large-scale rescue operation, focusing on hundreds of egrets affected by the hurricane.

According to its post on X, formerly Twitter, around 300 surviving egrets are being transported to SPCA facilities for triage and medical care.

Newsweek contacted the SPCA via email on Monday night for comment.

As Beryl moved eastward, it continued to pose threats even in its weakened state. The National Hurricane Center warned that the storm, now a tropical depression, was still capable of producing flooding rains across portions of eastern Texas, western Louisiana and Arkansas. The risk of tornadoes also remained a concern, further endangering people and wildlife in the regions.

The ongoing severe weather complicates rescue-and-rehabilitation efforts. Wildlife rescuers must contend not only with the immediate aftermath of the hurricane but also with continued hazardous conditions as they work to save and treat injured or displaced birds.

In response to the crisis, the Houston SPCA has had to adjust its operations. For Monday, the organization announced several changes to its usual schedule. The Adoption Center was closed for the day and the planned Critter Camp was canceled. Additionally, all rehoming appointments were rescheduled to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and animals.

The SPCA also stated that emergency response preparations were underway, indicating a shift in focus to crisis management in the wake of Hurricane Beryl.