Eastern White Pelican

Scientific name:  Pelecanus onocrotalus
Class:  Birds
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Rivers, marshes, swamps and lakes
Diet:  Carnivorous
Weight:  15 kg
Size:  175 cm
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Pelicans can be heavy and ungainly on land, but elegant and streamlined when swimming or flying. They are generally silent birds except during the mating season when they can be heard making a low, hoarse call. Two eggs are laid each year and the chicks plumage is very dark grey. This lightens to the distinctive white as they lose their baby feathers.

Pelicans can live for up to 30 years, but are often hunted for their meat, skin and feathers. Their swampy foraging habitat is gradually being lost to urbanisation, but they currently remain of “Least Concern” in their conservation status. In the zoo, the pelicans are fed on freshwater fish like roach and spend a great deal of time grooming their immaculate white feathers with their long beaks.

Conservation status
Extinct
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Endangered
Vulnerable
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated
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