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Pelican missing after being scared by gulls at Blackpool Zoo

by nytime
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A pelican has gone missing from a zoo after taking to the air when it was scared by a flock of gulls.

Blackpool Zoo said the 14-week-old fledgling flew on to the flamingo house on Friday afternoon after being startled by the squawking birds.

It said the pelican was then “taken on a gust of wind” and keepers lost sight of it at about 16:00 BST as it headed towards South Shore.

A representative said anyone who spots it should contact the zoo.

They said the brown-feathered bird was about 4ft (1.2m) tall with a 5ft (1.5m) wingspan and had been “seen in the area” since it flew off.

They said keepers were “following up all sightings” and searches were “continuing from dawn to dusk every day”.

“We remain hopeful that it will be found,” they said.

They said pelicans were “beautiful, docile creatures” and there was “no threat to the public”, but anyone who spots it should not approach it.

They added that the zoo had “housed this magnificent species for many years” and had the only collection that had “successfully bred… which makes the youngster very special”.

“This is the first time we have had an incident like this, which was down to the ever-growing problems we, and the town, continue to have with seagulls,” they said.

In April, the zoo advertised for “seagull deterrents”, a role which would see successful applicants dressed up in bird costumes to scare away the nuisance birds.

It later said almost 200 people had applied for the roles.

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