The strange sight of a dead sea bird a long way from the water in inner Brisbane has sparked curious debate about how and why it came to be there.
Pelicans can be found in several roosting sites across Brisbane, but none of them are anywhere near where this bird was found, in a gutter on the corner of Waterworks Road and Windsor Road in Red Hill.
The dead pelican’s final resting place has baffled Neil Humpies from BirdLife Southern Queensland.
“It is very difficult to work out why it would be in the middle of Brisbane. If they are flying somewhere looking for more water they would fly very high, so it is an absolute puzzle to me,” he said.
“If he is flying over Brisbane he is either leaving [Moreton Bay] or heading there.”
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary vet Michael Pyne agreed the pelican’s appearance in inner Brisbane was mysterious.
Local Melissa Davidson said: “I have been living here since about 1991 and I have never seen a pelican.
“I walk up here, I shop here, that is so strange. It is not Redcliffe.”
Kim Williams spotted the pelican while walking her dog.
“It was actually quite distressing, to be honest.
“I was actually really upset, it’s just not something I like to see.”
Local man Darren Stone said he thought the pelican could have been poisoned.
“Just wondered how it got there actually. I don’t know whether it could have got baited.”
Mr Humpies said the bird might have been sick.
“It is quite possible – they do get sicknesses, particularly if they have been on water holes where the water level is very low,” he said.
“One of the problems that can occur is botulism, which from my understanding is a relatively quick death.
“There is the blue green algae that can cause problems on occasion too.”
With drought affecting much of Queensland, Mr Humpies said it was possible the bird could have been fishing at a dam or a lake with a reduced water level.