I'm a water bird not an aviary bird Mr Percival - Part 1 - A Pelican In My Bathtub By Linden Baker
Imagine my surprise when my son, Riley, said "there's a pelican in the cane field". We were on our way back from Bowen and in the middle of nowhere, so I turned the car around and went to check it out. Well there it was, 150 meters off the road in a cane paddock full of cane stubble. How Riley saw it, I don't know. Luckily there was a track we could use to drive right up to him. He was obviously not 100%, as I could get very close and it took no time to catch him.
He was very hot and weak, so it was into the back seat on Riley's knee, with a t-shirt over his head (the pelican's, not Riley's) and off home to cool down. Now, where do you put a pelican to cool off? - in the bath of course. So, much to my husband's disgust, the bath was filled and the pelican was put in.
Next it was a phone call to Jacqui to see where we could put him to re-cuperate. Luckily Jacqui had a spare large aviary at home so she picked him up after work. When she arrived (a couple of hours later) he was a much brighter pelican. So he was put into a bag and off to Jacqui's, leaving me to clean up a very stinky bathroom.

Mr Percival - Part 2 - The Recuperation & Release By Jacqui Webb
Well, it must be a month for big birds calls, there was the Wedge-tail Eagle, then the swan (which we didn't have to pickup in the end) and now a Pelican!
Luckily the aviary on loan from Jo from QPWS was empty. My next thought, we're going to need a lot of fish!! Linden had supplied some, which her and Riley caught that afternoon (thanks guys) but pelicans should be eating about a kilo of fish a day and I'm no fisherwoman!
Anyway, we got the pelican home safely, he was an excellent passenger. We put him into the aviary with a baby bath and some fish in a bowl. He had eaten some at Linden's, thank goodness, as it is a job to have to tube feed these birds as they are so big. You need several sets of hands!
I decided to leave him alone, as Linden and Dr Mark Williams had checked him over and de-loused him. He looked in good condition, maybe a little under-weight.
The job was to organise a bigger bath and lots of fish. I also spoke to Marilyn Collins (FRSA) who has lots of experience with water-birds, including pelicans. She provided a few extra hints and tips on pelican care.
Linden had organised to pick up some fish from Kaz (BP Service Station-Cannonvale) on Monday, but I would need some more before then. We called the ever resourceful Barry, Cheryl and Wilma, who always seem to come up with solutions to my problems. Cheryl got back to me straight away with a bagful of fish from Barry's mate, Barry from Mt Julian Store. He'd cleaned out his freezer for the pelican.
The next problem was a children's wading pool. Jo from QPWS lent us one for the time being. Meanwhile, Wilma organised to get one donated from Fausts Corner Store, Proserpine, which we now have.
Well, Mr Percival improved in leaps and bounds enjoyed his pool and gobbled down lots of fish, morning and night. Luckily Kaz rang back to say she had some fish for the pelican, collected by her and some friends. I couldn't believe my eyes when I picked it up. There was enough fish to keep the pelican going for more than a week (I was so glad we had brought a big freezer).
We (myself, Derek, Gerry, Linden and Riley) released Mr Percival at Proserpine Dam on the weekend. He was not very happy about going back into the bag and getting weighed. He had put on over a kilo in weight. Gerry had to be real quick taking these photos, as he was itching to get out of the bag, into the water and well away from us. There were at least twenty pelicans out on the water that day. Mr Percival swam across the current very strongly, to join his mates.
We remained and watched until we lost sight of which pelican was Mr Percival.
Another Happy Ending.

I would like to thank everyone mentioned in this article for their help. It is great to see local people and businesses (as well as members) rallying together in aid of our local wildlife.