Wyoming Folks Rally to Save Adorable Pete the Pelican
It started with a call to Wyoming Game And Fish about a Pelican in the parking lot of Powderhouse and Dell Range in Cheyenne. ‘Not its usual habitat’ noted Warden Mitch Renteria, who didn’t see any outward signs of distress or injury. In fact, the bird was alert and defensive. But when it tried to take off and ended up in the grass, Mitch’s concern grew. Caring for wildlife is more than a job for WG&F staffers.
Over the next three days, the bird was allowed to stay on the loose, but he got progressively weaker and it was on the banks of Sloan’s Lake that someone noticed a bit of fishing line coming out of the pelican’s beak. Mitch ended up carefully taking the bird to Cheyenne Pet Clinic where owner Brooke Church and her caring crew started attending the pelican.
Oh, the heaven and hell of working at a veterinary clinic. Nurturing people work with wonderful animals that are often hurting. But there’s no time for sadness; professionals stay focused and provide the care the critters need. Such is the case of the now named “Pete the Pelican,”
Cheyenne Pet Clinic owner Brook Church said, "Pete probably swallowed some bait that had a hook in it." and while her team rallied to get some fish for the injured bird to eat, several members of the community stepped up as did King Soopers, who sent Dan over with plenty-o-fish for the pelican.
With this much fish, Pete may invite some of his bird buddies!
Pete now had food and loving care but he also needed someone with special skills, who could perform delicate surgery on the throat of their new feathered friend. Brooke told me they are sending Pete to a “Pelican Specialist” in Jackson on Thursday, where experienced professionals can give him the specialized surgery necessary.
We hope that all will go well for Pete, but Warden Renteria told me of his ongoing concern because pelicans are migratory birds and maybe this one should be a little further south, working on a tan on a beach along the Gulf Of Mexico.
Nature can be cruel, but she generally knows and does what is best for her creatures. May God guide the surgeon’s hand and then; “Vaya con Dios, Pete. Happy trails.”
Maybe we could start a GoFundMe page or an airline will step up and we can get this bird where he belongs. Or maybe, we should just let him heal and resume his travels, out of harm’s way and far from the dangers of man.
Pete is about three feet tall and weighs about 20 pounds. Here’s to Brooke, Carly and the crew of Cheyenne Pet Clinic and Calvin, Mitch, and the team at Wyoming Game and Fish, who so lovingly act as stewards to our animals. We can all take our roles seriously and be aware of the things we leave behind that can, and do,
We can all take our roles seriously and be aware of the things we leave behind that can, and do, injure wildlife. Pick up your stuff. If you can pack it in, you can pack it out. Keep Wyoming healthy.