Have you seen this pelican?
Fota Wildlife Park has confirmed that a pelican spotted in Arklow, Co. Wicklow is an escapee of their park.
Declan O’Donovan, who is the animal care manager at the park, told the Irish Times he was very confident the pelican would return to Cork. “He will spend a few days up around Wicklow. He’ll then come back in to Fota, and pop out to the harbour.
“We have a sort of plan in place to catch him when he comes back. It doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, but we will catch him and once we do we’ll clip his feathers and he’ll be back with his buddy.” O’Donovan didn’t specify what the plan is exactly, suggesting that Fota Wildlife Park has a top secret plan for catching pelicans.
“He comes back to us on a regular basis,” O’Donovan reassured. The escaped pelican is one of two males that ordinarily lives at the park.
Great White Pelicans — which we can all agree are among the most amusing animals — generally weigh about 10kg and have a wingspan of nearly three metres. They can cover distances of up to 300 miles without stopping.
According to the Fota Wildlife Website, the bird eats about one and a half kilograms of fish each day, catching food using its pouched beak (which can expand to hold nearly 13 litres of water).
— PPAI (@PPAI_IRL) August 12, 2021