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Great White Pelicans Go on Display at Maryland Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: April 20, 2021 11:40 am

Great White Pelicans Maryland Zoo

Two great white pelicans have gone on display at the Maryland Zoo

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

A pair of male great white pelicans have joined the family at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Wallace, 7 and Gromit, 5 came to Maryland from the Dallas Zoo on a recommendation from the Great White Pelican  Species Survival Plan (SSP).

At the Maryland Zoo the pair will be on display in the Penguin Coast habitat where they live alongside the African penguins and cormorants.

They went on display last week following a 30 day quarantine and they then spent winter becoming accustomed to their new home.

Great White Pelicans Maryland Zoo

The great white pelicans have joined the African penguins and cormorants on display at the Maryland Zoo's Penguin Coast exhibit

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

“Most people are probably familiar with the pelican species we have in the US, the American white pelican and the brown pelican. As the name would imply, the great white pelican is much larger than these two species,” said Jen Kottyan, avian collection and conservation manager at the Zoo.

“At approximately four-feet-tall, with a wingspan of over nine feet, they are huge and make a very striking addition to Penguin Coast. They certainly make the penguins and cormorants look small in comparison.”

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Great white pelicans are one of the largest flighted birds in the world. The IUCN list them as least concern though they are vulnerable to pollution and overfishing removing their food source. They make their home in Africa's swamps, freshwater lakes, marshes and deltas.

They have a long bill used to scoop fish from the water. A pouch under the beak can hold several gallons of water along with the fish they are aiming to capture.

Each day Wallace and Gromit consume 0.9kg (2lbs) of fish.

Great White Pelicans Maryland Zoo

Two great white pelicans have gone on display at the Maryland Zoo

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

“While this species would overlap with African penguins in similar habitats of coastal South Africa and Namibia, these two have only recently been introduced to the penguins here at the Zoo,” continued Kottyan.

“They seem to be adjusting quite well and we are really looking forward to introducing them to our visitors.”

Great White Pelicans Maryland Zoo

One of the new great white pelicans to have gone on display at the Maryland Zoo

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Learn more about the Maryland Zoo on their website – Maryland Zoo

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