Dublin People

Great white pelican spotted on Bull Island after escaping Fota Park

A great white pelican that escaped from Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has been spotted at Bull Island near Clontarf in Dublin.

The large male bird had turned up in Wicklow since leaving the County Cork tourist attraction last week before flying further north

A spokesperson for Fota Wildlife Park said that the pelican has been spotted in various locations along the east coast.

“Currently the animal care team are monitoring sightings of the bird daily.

“It is anticipated that he will return to Fota Wildlife Park for food once he becomes hungry.

“This bird is not a danger to the public and will fly away from people if approached.

“The Great white pelican is found in south-eastern Europe through Asia and Africa, and breeds in swamps and shallow lakes.

“It occurs within 43 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in its European range,” she said.

Birdwatch Ireland said that great white pelicans can typically fly great distances so travelling up to Dublin would not be a problem for the bird in question.

“People shouldn’t feed him, but it is unlikely that they would have the correct food for him anyway. He will also be out in the estuary area and will be difficult to get to,” the spokesperson said.

It is hoped that the bird will return to Fota in late September or early October.

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