Injured pelican’s recovery takes her from Iowa to South Florida

MIAMI (WSVN) - Veterinarians hope an injured pelican will take flight soon after a long recovery that began more than 1,000 miles away.

The white pelican was originally taken to a veterinarian in Iowa after being injured. The veterinarian contacted Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami, where she’s now rehabilitating.

“They contacted us, and we took care of the flight and the shipping,” Rehab Manager Yaritz Acosta said, “and we picked her up around Monday morning. Technically, it was Tuesday, around midnight.”

They’re not sure what happened to the pelican, but she is unable to fly.

“She could have flown into something or got hit by something. She did injure her left wing and is unable to fly,” Acosta said. “She also has some sores on her feet.”

The sores are known as “bumble foot,” and they could be the result of living on a lake in Iowa. For now, she’s staying in sunny South Florida to heal her wing and treat the sores.

“As long as she’s out here, she’s on a sandy surface with some rocks, some shells. That’ll help with the bumble foot from progressing any further,” Acosta said. “The physical therapy is about every other day … to kind of reduce the stress.”

Once she’s healed, the pelican will have to pass a hunting test before veterinarians can set her up with a local flock.

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