By Katie Evans
A GREEDY PELICAN with a fish stuck in its throat was videoed being rescued from suffocation by a-have-a-go lady who was brave enough to shove her arm down its neck.
Whilst working in Cortez village, Florida, USA, biological scientist Charlotte Marin (35) witnessed the pelican in clear distress with the carcass bulging in its throat and called bird rescue volunteer Beth Weir to help the animal.
The footage, taken by Charlotte shows Beth holding the pelican in place as she wrestles her hand deep into the animal’s pouch, attempting to dislodge the fish.
Struggling, Beth manoeuvres her hand into different positions to clear the bird’s throat.
The pelican looks somewhat distressed by the incident but if not removed, the misplaced fish may have killed the large bird.
The carcass of a relatively large fish is finally freed from the pelican’s throat, making the animal’s struggle clear.
As soon as it is released, the rescued bird flies from the dock away from the incident.
Cortez is a small fishing village on the Gulf Coast which sees a large tourist influx, particularly during the month of February when it hosts its annual Seafood Festival.
The large number of tourists results in many trying to feed the well-known Cortez pelicans and wildlife, often unaware of the dangers.
“Almost daily Beth rescues birds that have been victims of human interaction,” said Charlotte.
“The Gulf Coast area has a large amount of tourists who may have good intentions but don’t know that it is best to leave wildlife alone.
“We also have a large fishing industry, both commercial and recreational and sometimes accidents to happen.”
Whilst pelicans have a reputation for eating large fish and have even been known to eat smaller birds, it appears this pelican had swallowed its prey at the wrong angle, causing it to become stuck.
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