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#06-138 May 22, 2006

Bluffton veterinarian wins Palmetto Wildlife Award

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has announced the recipient of the sixth annual Palmetto Wildlife Veterinary Award. Dr. Ben Parker, with the Coastal Veterinary Clinic in Bluffton, has been chosen for the 2005 Palmetto Wildlife Veterinary Award.

The Palmetto Wildlife Veterinary Award is presented annually by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to members of the veterinary community who have made outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of South Carolina’s wildlife. Nominations are evaluated on special achievements during the year, or for long-term efforts assisting with the care of the state’s wildlife.

For more information on the award, contact Priscilla Wright, DNR wildlife biologist, at (843) 953-9856 in Charleston, or by e-mail at WrightP@dnr.sc.gov.

Parker was selected for his dedicated efforts to help save injured birds in the Bluffton and Hilton Head areas, as well as for his recent cooperative work with the marine mammal stranding network, which is a partnership of veterinarians along the coast assisting in marine mammal strandings.

“Dr. Parker has been the sole recipient for all injured birds in the Bluffton area, and I have personally referred many birds to his clinic,” said Dr. Al Segars, DNR veterinarian. “He has assisted DNR happily in this endeavor, and has refused payment for his services. Dr. Parker’s work epitomizes the important role that is increasingly necessary to help manage wildlife issues in the Lowcountry.”

The general public, the veterinary community, and DNR employees may submit nominations for the annual award. They should include a one-page description of the efforts qualifying the nominee for the award, and the name, address and phone number of the individual making the nomination. Nominations must be received by Dec. 15 each year for award consideration for that calendar year. Nominations can be sent to Priscilla Wright, DNR Wildlife Section, PO Box 12559, Charleston, SC 29422.
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