Wounded Amamoor pelican makes brave recovery
ONE thing about Mary Valley residents - they don't give up.
That includes the pelicans.
Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie found out about that tenacious streak when he tried to build the Traveston Crossing dam.
And whatever tried to kill a very determined pelican named Ollie no doubt learned a lesson too.
Fortunately, Ollie was not alone in his hard-fought comeback from what should have been a fatal injury - nothing less than a slashed throat.
It was about six weeks ago that Twinnies Pelican and Sea Bird Rescue came across Ollie.
Twinnies is, as the name implies, a joint venture by Sunshine Coast identical twins Bridgette and Paula Powers, who specialise in saving sick and injured sea birds.
Ollie seems to have been attacked by a dog or other predator.
But even injured, this hardened Mary Valley pelican seems to have been tougher than its attacker would've guessed.
Paula said the attack left Ollie with a hole torn in the neck, right through to the gullet.
Though horrible to contemplate, food and water Ollie tried to swallow simply dropped out through the hole, leaving her dehydrated and starving.
"We offered her fish but it just fell out through the hole,” Paula said.
"Her injury was about five days old and she had lost about 5kg (most of her body weight) in that time. Her normal weight would have been about 6kg.
"The man who found Ollie knew there was something wrong and I'm glad he phoned us, because she would have died in a day or two.
"When we approached her she tried to escape, so we had to pounce on her.
"She was weak and lethargic and we had to syringe water into her throat.
"Probably she was too weak to fly away when we arrived.”
Possibly Ollie was defending eggs or chicks, because she appeared to be returning from breeding and having a rest on the Amamoor property where she was found.
But now Ollie is on the mend, even if the recovery is not yet complete.
"She still has a little hole but it is healing,” Paula said.
"She is a sub-adult, about eight or nine years old. She knew we were helping her the whole way and she didn't snap at us .
"The pelican population is dwindling.
"It was a dog attack we think. A gentleman called us and he was shocked at the injury.”
Meanwhile, Ollie is making a good recovery and should be ready to fly away soon.