Pelican escapes from Irish zoo, spotted 100 miles away

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The director of an Irish zoo confirmed that a great white pelican escaped for a second time and was spotted more than 100 miles away.

The Fota Wildlife Park in Cork said the pelican flew the coop and was spotted in Wexford, the same place the pelican visited during an earlier escape in 2018.

“He has been in the park since 2012, and he has done it before. He did it in 2018. He thinks that Wexford is a great place for a staycation,” Fota Wildlife Park Director Sean McKeown told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

McKeown said the pelican’s previous escape ended with the bird and his half-brother returning to the zoo on their own. He said officials are hoping the pelican will return to the park in September or October.

“His half brother is in the wildlife park, so he’s likely to return here,” he said. “The other option, as he is unlikely to stay in Wexford, is he will head off to the continent possibly over to Greece and Romania, where there are other great white pelicans.”

Great white pelicans are known to be marathon flyers, capable of covering distances of up to 300 miles in a single flight.