Big Bird the pelican was abandoned by his flock after a storm hit Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, and was rescued by the kind staff of Greystoke Mahale Park. Injured and unable to fly or feed himself, things looked grim for the three month old pelican.
Having had their hearts thoroughly won over by the determined pelican, the staff of the national park took it upon themselves to teach him the survival skills he’d need to get by in the wild, including how to hunt for food, and most impressively, how to fly.
This was a daunting task, as obviously none of the workers knew how to fly themselves. By running alongside the bewildered bird and flapping their arms, they hoped to stimulate the natural process in Big Bird.
After weeks of observing these crazy humans and their strange arm-flapping rituals, Big Bird finally got the idea and as staff mentioned on their blog;
“We would run up and down flapping our arms and simulating flight for him. He would look on curiously until one day he showed us how it was done!”
The caring staff were ready for this moment, and wanting to record it for posterity, attached a small unobtrusive GoPro camera to the pelican’s beak.
The result is one of the most stunning and unique flight videos you are ever likely to see – the first triumphant flight of a fully recovered and recuperated pelican from a beaks-eye-view.
The park worker’s final comments say it all.
‘We are so proud of him and he is such a clever bird. He can fly!’