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Victoria shelter asks for fish to feed pelican

Jan 12 2012

A special guest is expected in Victoria this week and the B.C. SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) is appealing for donations of excess fish from local freezers to feed it.

A white pelican, with a checkered past, will be flown to Victoria from Manitoba as soon as a flight can be found, said Wild ARC manager Kari Marks.

"Manitoba didn't have a facility that could over-winter him, so we are taking him," she said.

The young pelican was taken into a shelter with other injured pelicans last year, but his companions had to be put down, Marks said. The bird was returned to the wild pelican populations. "But all the others migrated south to the Gulf of Mexico and he didn't go. We don't know why he didn't migrate," Marks said.

Wild ARC is building a new aquatic centre and one of the pens will be used for the pelican.

"It's not really finished, but there's one part he can stay in which has a larger pool. We are looking forward to it," Marks said. "But he is going to be eating a lot of fish."

It is likely that, once the pelicans return to Manitoba, the bird will be flown home. In the meantime, anyone who wants to donate fish or cash can contact Wild ARC at 250-478-9453.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com

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