A pelican named Percival learned something about the infertility game that many human couples go through—but this year he got some human help, and now he is the proudest pelican dad of all.
For six years, his licensed handlers watched as the bird faithfully nestled atop eggs in a bid to see them hatch. He and his mate would share egg-sitting duty—but they never got to see any chicks emerge. It looked like the couple was simply unable to produce any eggs that were fertile.
Percival would look on, year after year, as other pelicans proudly trundled their feathered broods near the Queensland, Australia sanctuary called Twinnies Pelican and Seabird Rescue. (The sanctuary’s owners, women who are twins, could almost hear him sigh.)
Unable to bear Mr. Percival’s distress for yet another mating season, they decided it was time to step in and help Mother Nature along.
Unbeknownst to Mr. and Mrs. P., they swapped a fertile egg from another nest into the one on which the pair so patiently sat in shifts, waiting for their little miracle.
After that, all anyone could do was cross their fingers, hope for the best, and wait. To everyone’s joy, the adopted egg hatched right on schedule.
An ‘eggstatic’ post to the Twinnies’ Facebook page proclaimed, “We are so proud of him, as we can see the baby pelican chick is growing beautifully.”
Finally, ‘just one of the dads’, Percival has taken up the task of feeding and raising his offspring with nothing less than total commitment.
The same quality can be attributed to Percival that Dr. Seuss wrote into his story about a determined pachyderm named Horton: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. A pelican’s faithful one-hundred percent!”
The economic impact of the bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic has meant tough times for the whole country, but especially Twinnies bird sanctuary, a 24-hour rescue and rehabilitation center for sick, injured, and orphaned pelicans, seabirds, and native birds located in Landsborough.
If you’d like to help keep the pelicans and other native seabirds in fine feather, please help out by making a donation here.