PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - A pelican got the second chance it needed Saturday in Pass Christian, after the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center from Gautier released the rehabilitated bird out at the Pass Harbor.
It was Danny Peterson who helped save a pelican's life. Peterson noticed the bird unsuccessfully trying to eat for days; the pouch under his beak slit open.
"And he was trying to eat those fish and they just kept coming right out of his throat," said Peterson. He wanted to help, and knew the only way was to catch the bird.
In July, Peterson was able to get close enough to throw a fishing net over the pelican.
"If my rope would have been two feet shorter, I would have missed him. I was thinking please catch him, please catch him. And I did," said Peterson.
Peterson then got the bird into the hands of the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center and less than two months later, was able to witness the pelican being released in almost the same spot that he was caught.
"He's just a beautiful bird and I have great respect for him," said Eva Roehm as she watched the pelican being transported to the pier.
Director of the Rescue Center, Alison Sharpe, says her team has seen injuries like this on pelicans and that it's usually an indication of a fisherman slitting the pelican's pouch in an attempt to eliminate fishing competition.
"And unfortunately, this little guy fell into the wrong hands, I believe, but now he's got a second chance," said Sharpe.
Eighty-five percent of animals that the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center takes in are birds.