Hungry pelican gets scraps from soft-hearted fisherman

Published February 9, 2020

Rumble / Wild WildlifeThe wildlife on the Galapagos Islands do very well without intervention from humans, and the rules about feeding the animals are strictly adhered to, most of the time. It is never a good thing when the birds and other creatures become dependent on humans for food. But these pelicans get most of their food on their own. They would certainly survive without any help from people. And yet, they can't resist hanging around the fish market to watch the fishermen clean the catch. The smell is too appealing and they try their best to use their pleading eyes to get a little share.

A crowd of tourists had gathered around the fish market to watch the tuna and red fish being brought to the table where a highly skilled fisherman removed the guts, skins and fins. The animals were all waiting patiently for a piece to fall or a fish to be left unattended for more than a moment. As far as the crowd could tell, this fisherman was immune to the big, sad eyes and hungry looks. He hardly paid any attention as a big pelican perched on his table and watched his every move. His face never gave away a hint of concern for their longing faces.

But, as quick as lightning, and without even looking sideways, his hand or his knife would suddenly fling a piece of fish skin or an unwanted scrap right to the pelican. It was more like sleight of hand the way he surreptitiously sent a piece of food flying in the bird's direction. The pelican seemed to understand the need to gobble it down quickly too. Watching closely, an occasional word or hand gesture would reveal the fact that he was also sympathetic to the pleading of the baby sea lion that waited at his feet like a small puppy. An occasional scrap fell within reach of the baby as well.

Perhaps the animals were fooled into thinking that the occasional treat was accidental, but those watching him carefully could see that he simply had a soft heart for hungry creatures.