The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 10, 1968 · Page 178
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 178

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 10, 1968
Page 178
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Page 178 article text (OCR)

Poor Mr. Pelican v The pelican is as much a part of Florida as the sunshine itself. A showboat, a moocher, and a source of poetry, as graceful airborne as he is awkward on the ground, his numbers are dwindling as civilization closes in on him. He has left Texas where once he was a familiar sight, and in the pelican state of Louisiana he is becoming scarce. Only in Florida is he still around in force today and, biologists believe, he might someday migrate on to South America. He is known best for bargaining with fishermen and tourists for fish around Florida docks. Surprisingly, he is a great fisherman himself. A flock airborne will form a giant circle, their shadows forcing bait fish into up a huge pouch full of small fish. The force of the dive stuns his quarry and he is capable of holding 12 quarts of water in his bag. He is protected by law. It is a $300 fine or 90 days in jail for killing one. But due to his awkwardness on the ground, he is easy prey for man's orneri-ness.Unedible, he nevertheless is often the victim of human atrocities. This year pelicans have been found starved tied together, or senselessly shot or beaten to death. Some have even been covered with gasoline and set afire. It's no wonder he is thinking of moving where there aren't so many people. When he goes, Florida will not be the same. The color photo was taken by Charles an ever closing center. Then from a height of some 20 feet, he'll drop into a zeroed-in dive, hit the water with a whack that can be heard for half a mile, and scoop Barron in the Cowpen Key Sanctuary in Florida Bay on assignment for the Florida M Development Commission. lorido Magaiint

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