A pelican out of place in downtown Weyburn caught the attention of some locals on Sunday, which spurred Weyburn Wildlife Federation member Kelly Kozij to do his best to help out the wild bird.
"I saw it and I thought, well, a pelican in the downtown area, that's not a good situation for the bird at all, so I decided, 'I'm going to go see what I can do'," he shared.
"I've dealt with some wildlife in the past in different ways, so I just went down there and of course, it's fairly easy to find a pelican. There were a couple of people standing there watching it, and I walked up and they were on the phone trying to get a hold of somebody to see what they could do to help it and I just walked up, scooped it up, and wrapped it up in a couple of towels, and the guy asked me what I was going to do it and I said, 'well, I'm going to take it to the lake. He has a better chance of surviving at the lake than in downtown Weyburn'."
Kozij said the bird was certainly not aggressive by any means.
"He didn't really appreciate being handled, but he was pretty calm overall. I had him wrapped up so he wasn't struggling too much. When they struggle, there's chance they can injure themselves," he explained.
He said he had checked over the bird to see if he had a broken wing, who, "seemed otherwise healthy, but there was something with one of his eyes. It wasn't quite as clear as the other one, but I didn't think it was a serious injury. Animals in the wild, it's not unusual that they may get an injury from different things."
Kozij had spoken with one of Weyburn's Conservation Officers, Ryan Krienke, to share his plans for the bird, who agreed that taking him to Nickle Lake was the best option for the pelican.
"So at the lake, I checked him over again before I let him go, and I didn't find anything new that I might have missed the first time," he noted. "I went down by the boat launch area and let him go, and he stood there and he preened himself for a while and looked around, and after a few minutes he just took off and flew strongly, circled several times, gaining altitude with every lap around in this flying ,and eventually went out of sight."
He said he watched the pelican circling for about 10 minutes.
"I am quite confident that he was just a little disoriented, or if it was a young one, maybe just got played out flying, and crash landed," he said.
"I was talking to one of my friends after it was kind of suggested I should have taken him across the street to the Coop for some fish. But no, that's not the best plan," he joked.
Kozij said the bird was better off out at the lake in a natural habitat rather than in downtown Weyburn amid traffic.
"It's not the best situation for large wild bird to be in, so between the what the conservation officers were telling me and what I kind of observed on it, I I think it's probably safe to say he's doing reasonably well in the wild."
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