A pelican that stowed away on a cruise ship all the way from Maryland is now being treated at a Carrollwood Veterinary Office.
The pelican was found on Thursday aboard the Royal Caribbean International’s Jewel of the Seas. The pelican, which was injured, was transported to BluePearl Veterinary Partners by Hillsborough County Animal Services. BluePearl is located at 3000 Busch Lake Blvd.
Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners avian and exotics medicine team determined the bird was dehydrated and had a minor wing injury that would require rehabiliation, according to a press release issued by Blue Pearl.
According to Royal Caribbean International, the pelican landed on deck 12 of the port-side of Jewel of the Seas shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the release. The ship was returning to its seasonal homeport of Tampa after stopping in Mexico on Tuesday. Royal Caribbean International staff transferred the injured bird to Hillsborough County Animal Services during a port call in Tampa, Thursday at about 10 a.m.
The officer brought the injured pelican to BluePearl’s Tampa location, the pelican injured itself by flying into part of the ship’s superstructure after it had landed on the ship, according to Hillsborough County Animal Services.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory, the bird was originally banded in Holland Island, Maryland in Sept. 2012.
BluePearl’s avian and exotic medicine team also treat wildlife from Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, and Nature’s Classroom.
The pelican is scheduled to be transferred to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary Friday where the bird will receive rehabilitation treatment.
It is not clear how long the bird will remain at the sanctuary, said James P. Judge, spokesman for BluePearl Veterinary Partners.