Young pelicans make their way to Tucson


TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson Wildlife Center has received their first two pelicans of the year within the last week.

According to TWC, one was found in a pool in Oro Valley, and one from Pearce, Arizona. There have been other sightings across the city as well.

"We presume the high winds over the last few days have blown the weaker young pelicans off course," said Lou Rae Whitehead, director of animal care at TWC. "It is important for the public to know that if you spot one, please take note of its location and call Tucson Wildlife Center as soon as possible."

Whitehead also stated that the arrival of pelicans has come earlier than usual and that they cannot find their way back to the ocean, and will not survive in the desert.

Executive Director, Lisa Bates says that these once endangered brown pelicans made a comeback when the pesticide DDT was banned.

Tucson Wildlife Center and Tucson Electric Power are building an Eagle flight enclosure that will alternately house pelicans with a pond built by The Tucson Watergardners.

"It is very expensive to rehabilitate a pelican," said Dr. Don Gillespie, TWC's wildlife veterinarian. "They are not native to the desert and need an all-fish diet along with other high-level care."

The two pelicans will be transported back to their home early Monday, July 1st to Sea World San Diego. Once their rehab is complete, the young pelicans will be released from their docks. It is believed they will find their parents.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.