Environment
12:14 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Pelican Blown Off Course Released in NC

A brown pelican blown off course nearly a year ago by Hurricane Earl has been released into the wild on the North Carolina coast. The seabird nicknamed "Ralph" was found injured on the roof of a building in Nova Scotia last September. Ralph was transported earlier this year to the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in Newport. The nickname stuck despite the fact that Ralph is a female. Clinic supervisor Maria Rush says Ralph completed the rehabilitation process this weekend.

Maria Rush: "She went through her months of beginning to be less humanized, having been around people for several months and not another pelican. In the beginning, we had to hand-toss her fish, and then we weaned her off of that and she was getting the fish out of the pool, so we got to the point where it was time to give her a second chance."
Ralph and two other pelicans were released Saturday in Croatan National Forest. Brown pelicans are rarely found north of the south Atlantic states.

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