Known as Australia’s largest flying bird, the pelican is a well known feature throughout Australian waterways. The Pelican has the largest bill of any bird in the world, with the ability to soar up to 3km high for almost 24 hours. A bird we long associate with days spent at the beach, this Australian icon uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish, but sometimes gets hooked in return, becoming entangled in fishing line.
Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital has seen over 75 injured pelicans since 2014. Sadly, marine life are often bought to the hospital with lethal fish hooks inside their stomachs, through their wings and beaks, and with fishing line wrapped tightly around their feet and flippers. Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital staff work tirelessly to rehabilitate wildlife and release healthy wildlife back to the wild.