Florida Firefighters Rescue Pelican

May 2, 2008
It was hanging upside down in a tree.


Firefighters had to rescue a pelican that was dangling from a tree about 50 feet in the air Thursday.

The pelican was hanging upside down by its wing from some monofilament line in an Australian pine tree near the Dania Beach pier.

Beachgoer Sharon Schultz spotted the pelican Thursday morning.

"At first I thought he was dead, and I came and looked closer and he was struggling," Schultz said.

Schultz said she went to the pier for help and was told the bird had been hanging there since Tuesday. She was also told that a wildlife group had already come, but she was incensed by what she perceived to be a lack of sympathy for the animal.

"They said it was dead," Schultz said. "They weren't going to do nothing about it, so I called (Local) 10. I didn't know what else to do, and now everybody's here to get the bird out of the tree. That's all I wanted."

Hollywood firefighters used a ladder truck to rescue the bird. A ranger from John U. Lloyd Beach State Park snipped the line, freeing the bird.

"It was simple," Schultz said. "It was very simple if somebody gets involved. When people don't get involved, life dies, and you can't do that."

Rescuers believe the pelican got caught in the line at the beach and became tangled as it flew by the tree. They said the bird, likely exhausted after two days of fighting, didn't put up a fight as they placed it in a carrying cage.

The bird will be taken to the Wildlife Care Center in Fort Lauderdale, but it appeared to be OK.

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