Authorities failed to capture stabbed pelican

Saskia AdystiThe West Australian

Animal rescue groups are still trying to rescue a pelican with a knife in its chest in Denmark.

A spokesperson for Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) said that they still attempting to capture the bird.

“The process might take a while as there are a couple hundred of pelicans in the areas,” she said.

“And since the pelican is wild, it’s difficult to capture the bird safely.

“We will continue to try and rescue this pelican and once we found him, we will get veterinary assistance to medicate the bird.”

Stephanie Downey from Busselton, found the injured pelican near Rivermouth Caravan Park boat ramp more than a week ago.

“When I first saw the bird I was taken aback for a second, then my immediate response is to help the poor guy,” she said.

“The knife was close to 12 inches long and was stuck the whole way through the very end of the handle.

“So I tried to go near the pelican, but now I’m glad that I didn’t get the chance to because I would have done more damage than good if I tried to get the knife out.”

She has since reported the matter to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and WA Seabird Rescue.

“The bird can’t just fall into that, to go the whole way through, it would have happened by force — someone else must have done that to the bird,” Ms Downey said.

WA Seabird Rescue team leader Carol Biddulph said she had managed to find the injured bird but it had refused to go near her.

“We tried hard but other people had been trying to capture the bird to release it from suffering and it makes the job a bit harder for us rescuers,” Ms Biddulph said

“It’s very wary and a bit cagey — we’re hoping it will settle down after a couple of days and we can have another attempt to catch it.”

Ms Biddulph said the injury was caused by human intervention.

She also warned the public not to try to catch the bird.

“This will keep it more wary of people and make it more reluc-tant to be enticed and also do not feed this pelican so it will be better attracted to our bait,” she said.

“We appreciate all the calls we have had — most people are very concerned about the wellbeing of this pelican.”

If anyone has any further information on the matter, phone the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

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