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Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia in winter released back to wild

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 April 2019

Each stunning giant bird was ringed to help scientists trace their migration routes.

The pelicans were rescued thanks to efforts of expert Alexey Ebel, a biologist by training and a keen birdwatcher. Picture: Vladimir Mayer

There were nine young pelicans in the squadron that landed in the mountainous Altai region in November. 

They were noticed by the locals helplessly skidding and tumbling on ice of a lake near the town of Aleysk. 

The world's largest freshwater birds took went off course pushed by strong Western winds, and  became weakened by icy air and cold ground temperatures. 

The pelicans were rescued thanks to efforts of expert Alexey Ebel, a biologist by training and a keen birdwatcher.

They spent winter in the local veterinary clinic, with hundreds of people donating to feed the rare birds. 

Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 


Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 


Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 
Icy landing in Siberia. The Pelicans pictured before they were rescued by Alexey Ebel


‘The pelicans ate nearly three tons of fish,’ said Atryom Kucher, director of ‘Dobriy Vrach’ veterinary clinic.

‘We organised the care in a way that the birds could remain as wild as possible, so they didn’t go begging for food from anglers. 

‘This is why we kept only one person looking after them, so that they see humans as danger. 

‘We think they should do well.’

Nine pelicans were ringed and released at Pelikaniy nature reserve in the Altai region. 

One more Dalmatian pelican landed in the same area later last winter. 

By then the air temperature then was -20C, so the bird got its wing and paw badly frostbitten and will have to stay in the clinic longer.

Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 


Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 

Back into the wild! The nine Dalmatian pelicans were released back to nature in the Altai region. Pictures: Vladimir Mayer


Ornithologist Alexey Ebel said: ‘We still don’t know where these magnificent birds fly from, and their destination after the unexpected  stopover in Siberia. 

‘There is a theory that they fly to southern China, but we need to gather evidence to support it.’

It is probable the birds spend their summer in Russia but intended to fly south - anywhere from Iran to southern China .

The scientists hope that now after the pelicans have been ringed - each one with two bands - the birdwatchers from around the world will help record their migration routes.

Each stunning giant bird was ringed to help scientists trace their migration routes. Pictures: Vesti Altai

Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 


Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 


Dalmatian pelicans that took a wrong turn to freezing Siberia - in winter - released back to wild 

Comments (8)

You there in Russia are so good people counting also President Putin. You save every creature which have gone tro the wrong place or if some like the polar bear are. I make my opinion according how you treat animals. I really would like to live in your country but it's too late now. I wish the pelicans will be ok. Have you thought why they come to Altai area?
Leiah Sariell, Lapland Finland
29/04/2019 03:03
2
0
I agree with everyone's comments and thank you to everyone involved for this heartwarming rescue, care and release back into the wild success. I look forward to learning more about these birds travel paths as well. Their wingspan and size make them potentially amazing mariner travelers.
Pamela K Tetarenko, United States
28/04/2019 19:54
2
0
It is a fantastic tale and has renewed once again my faith in people. How wonderful that people like these people do exis everywhere in this beautiful world we are privileged to be a part of, especially when i mostly hear only negative news about “Russians”! Having visited and traveled coast to coast i know better! The Siberian times is an amazing source for incredible stories of such variety. It gives me so many rememberances and i love that it is there for me to share! Thank you for saving these birds and sending them fat and happy on to do their life as it should never end prematurely
Patricia Gothard, United States
28/04/2019 03:36
2
0
this is awesome effort
carlene scott smith, jamaica
27/04/2019 00:15
3
0
Great job, Alexey, hope to meet you again this summer.
Jaap van der kooij, The Netherlands
26/04/2019 13:54
3
0
Lovely creatures!Loving heart people!Love you!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
26/04/2019 13:11
6
0
amazing story. and people who still care about wildlife in distress. and NOT posting every step on facebook.but just going on with their work! Hat off!
MORAK Benedikt, Moscow
26/04/2019 07:12
8
0
so glad some one saved them THERE are still GOOD PEOPLE
Ann Breuer, USA
26/04/2019 06:54
9
0
1

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