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The Fugitive Pelican is Recovering
The Curraghs Wildlife Park has been developed adjacent to the Ballaugh curraghs in the north of the Isle of Man. This is the most important wildlife conservation site on the island and most of it is protected by virtue of ownership by Manx National Heritage. The Wildlife Park is a haven for all sorts of wetland wildlife and itís specialised in wetland species, nearly 100 altogether, many of them endangered in the wild. The animals are usually displayed together, with wildlife from the same country in the same area. Most of the enclosures are walk-through, giving uninterrupted views of the animals - just as it might be seen in the wild.
Hen harriers use the area in winter for their communal roost, which at times contains over 100 birds, the largest such roost in western Europe. Elsewhere in the north, wintering parties of whooper swans may be seen, with a maximum count of over 60 swans. Other birds of note in the Isle of Man include ravens and peregrines, which both appear on the Government crest, and the red-legged king of the crows - the chough - a charismatic bird of western coasts which is growing in numbers on the Isle of Man, in contrast to the other limited parts of the British Isles where it occurs. Within the Wildlife Park, characteristic woodland birds such as tree sparrow, long-tailed tit and tree creeper may be seen with redpolls along the nature trail - which is also a good place to spot common lizards, the only reptile native to the Isle of Man.
One of the rare inhabitants of the Wildlife Park is the pink-backed Pelican. Pink-baked pelican has a pale greyish tinged plumage, pinkish back with legs variable in colour, ranging from grey to yellow or reddish orange, becoming pinkish red in breeding season. The representatives of the Curragh's Wildlife Park announced that one of the members of the European pink-backed Pelican group left the island after it was chased away by the large male pelican in the group.
It is known that pink-baked pelican is one of the world's largest flying birds. They take off with difficulties, but once they are in flight, they fly well with few wing beats, alternating with glides so it wasnít a big surprise that the fugitive Pelican stopped for a rest in a holiday village in Scotland. It seem that it took 10 weeks for the bird to get to Haggerston Castle Holiday Park in Berwick where he is now recovering.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is taking care of its recovery. It was a difficult travel and the bird is now suffering from emphysema and had lost weight The Pelican will be returned to the Wildlife Park as soon as he is well enough to travel.
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