Pelicans are a beloved bird species in Australia and have been immortalised in literature and film.
Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said in Moira Shire, pelicans were loved by visitors and residents alike with these large waterbirds inhabiting the beautiful surrounds of Lake Mulwala in Yarrawonga.
But lately, some of the pelicans have been getting too close for comfort.
“While some well-meaning people may be tempted to feed these wild animals, doing so can harm them,” Cr Mustica said.
“Also, they can become aggressive in their attempts to obtain food and can cause injury, both to themselves and to people.
“Pelicans are highly capable fish catchers and need to hunt for their own food – feeding these wild animals can make them dependant on humans which makes it harder for them to survive in the wild.”
Cr Mustica said there were a few tips on what to do and not do if a pelican comes into your personal space.
• Remove yourself and those in your care from the situation.
• Make yourself intimidating to the pelican by standing tall, making noise by clapping your hands and/or raising your voice in a determined manner at the bird, and if handy, use a towel or similar item and flap it towards the bird until the bird moves out of your personal space.
• Harm, touch or feed the pelican in any way.
“We encourage you to take photographs and admire these wonderful creatures from a distance,” Cr Mustica said.
“Pelicans are wild animals so please give them space and if possible, stay at least three metres from them at all times.”