The Main Stream

Jul 19, 2012 1:52 AM

Storms bring confused pelicans to Tucson

TUCSON - Nasty storms over the weekend didn't just bring a lot of rain; they brought a rare sight to our desert, pelicans.

The Tucson Wildlife Center has already picked-up 3-brown pelicans, and it's working to bring in a few more lost in the area.

Lisa Bates is the owner of the Tucson Wildlife Center. She said, "I think they're fighting the storms, so they're using up a lot more energy to go the same distance, but they're just getting pushed off course."

The pelicans were pushed to an area that doesn't exactly have their favorite dish on the menu.

Warren Sammons, Associate Animal Care Director, said, "There's not enough fish for them to eat. They eat about 4 to 6 pounds of fish a day. That's a lot. There's not enough for Tucson to support."

It's a combination that has the birds just flat out exhausted, but with some much needed rest and plenty of fish the pelicans will be back to normal, and then shipped off to Sea World and eventually released.

They might not be alone though. More pelicans could turn up in our area, and if they do workers said don't let their cute faces fool you.

Sammons said, "Pelicans can be dangerous to humans. They have very sharp beaks, and they are very powerful. They can take an eye out really easily. They can cut you on your arm pretty good, so the best thing to do is call us and not try and touch them or catch them yourself."

But for professionals, the pelicans turned out to be some nice guests. Sammons said, "It's a treat seeing animals you don't see as often like the pelicans."

The young pelicans should recover quickly, and they'll be off to San Diego before you know it. Workers said there's a good chance they'll be reunited with their parents on the beaches there.


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