Great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) is also known as pink pelican, because during the mating season its white plumage changes to pink. These are water birds and one of the largest flying birds - body length reaches 1.8 m and wingspan almost 2.5 m, they are also one of the most widely spread pelicans – they live in southern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, on the Caspian Sea, Aral, Balkhash lake, the upper reaches of the Irtysh, and in the Danube delta. It also sporadically “flies in” to Poland, where it is subject to strict species protection.
Tidbit! According to medieval beliefs, in times of famine, the female pelican was said to break open her own chest using the beak and feed the chicks with her blood, hence pelicans were regarded as symbols of sacrifice.
In our zoo, they live on the pond in the immediate vicinity of the bison. They are quite noisy and like to “chase” the keepers.