SAN DIEGO, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Eight brown pelicans, displaced by monsoon winds, were sent to SeaWorld in San Diego before being released back into their natural habitat, officials say.
The birds were carried by monsoon weather to Arizona in July, stranded far from their natural Pacific Coast habitat, The Arizona Republic reported.
They were initially brought to Liberty Wildlife in Scottsdale. From there, they were flown Tuesday to SeaWorld in San Diego on a commercial flight from Phoenix, as arranged by Terry Stevens, operations director at Liberty.
One of the pelicans has a broken wing and will be placed at another wildlife facility, said Kim Peterson, supervisor of birds at SeaWorld. The rest will be rehabilitated and released into the wild in small groups.
“The biggest health risk is that they don’t have an appropriate food source,” Peterson said. “When they give up finding their way [back to the coast], they’re starving because that freshwater pool at the golf course doesn’t have any fish that they can eat.”