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Watch as an injured pelican spreads wings and soars for first the time


Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Sunday, March 2, 2014, 7:17 PM -

You don't have to be an animal lover to appreciate this story. 

Nearly four months ago, a Great White pelican promptly waddled up onto the beach of Lake Tanganyika, at Tanzania's Greystoke Mahale safari camp, after he was abandoned by his flock during a storm. 

The three month old bird was found injured and unable to feed himself by safari staff who eventually nursed Big Bird back to health.

"This species doesn't dive for fish, instead they corral the fish co-operating with each other and then scoop the cornered prey into their large stretchy pouches below the bill," wrote Nomad Tanzania staff in a blog. "So we have been given permission from Tanapa, the park authority to feed him."

As the caretakers continued with their efforts, they eventually realized that the young bird hadn't learned to fly. And so they set out on a new mission: Get Big Bird off the ground and into the sky!

Storm-battered Big Bird the pelican was nursed back to health and can now soar high above the sky (Image: Nomad Tanzania blog)

Storm-battered Big Bird the pelican was nursed back to health and can now soar high above the sky (Image: Nomad Tanzania blog)


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"He didn't fly for some weeks but with encouragement he got the idea," they continued. "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!" 

And lucky for us, the whole thing was captured on camera. In the video featured above, you can literally watch the very second Big Bird spread his wings and soared for the first time, thanks to a small camera strapped to his bill. 

"We are so proud of him and he is such a clever bird. He can FLY!"

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