The Woodlands is known for its trees and birds, but not the kind of bird that landed in a neighborhood. It’s a brown pelican, which is typically found along the shores of Galveston.
"We came out to walk our dogs and my dog zoned-in on this pelican. It's very strange, I've never seen a pelican even flying overhead. It was scared. My neighbor, Tracy, is a pelican whisperer. She just came up behind it with a tablecloth, nice and quiet, grabbed a hold of him, and we put him in a dog crate overnight to keep him warm and out of the elements. He was in distress. I don't know if he's injured, but he couldn't fly. He tried, but could only get a foot off the ground. We named him Zeke, which is a whole other story," smiles Linda Feld.
She began research to find help for the petrified pelican, first reaching out to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She eventually got in touch with Friends of Texas Wildlife, who came to the rescue.
It was even tough for them to pull it off during the weather crisis.
"She (Lisa Wolling) is going to take Zeke in her bathtub. She knows how to take care of these pelicans. Their shelter doesn't have water, so she can't take the animal there," explains Linda.
She and her husband Ken safely delivered "Zeke the Pelican" to Lisa, Executive Director of Friends of Texas Wildlife.
"We really don't know if it's just juveniles that kind of get lost, head the wrong direction or follow other birds and wind up on the ground and don't know what to do. With this one, it being so cold, they're not equipped to deal with this amount of cold weather. He seems to be doing well though," encourages Lisa.
They're closely monitoring him for frostbite but are hoping he recovers quickly.
"As long as he doesn't have any injuries that would make him not releasable, the goal is to provide that supportive care until he's strong enough and can be released back into the wild. That's our goal with any animal we take in," states Lisa.
He’s not alone. A lot of wildlife has been discovered in unusual places during the wretched winter storm.
"It seems like it's mostly birds, a lot of songbirds, some birds of prey. We haven't heard too much about mammals, they seem to hunker down and get in places where they can stay sheltered," explains Lisa. She says they do have quite a few baby squirrels they're helping, saved by a loving family, like the Feld’s, willing to make a difference.
If you discover wildlife misplaced or injured, Lisa suggests you get it to safety, perhaps offer a shallow dish of water, and call an expert for help.
For more information: http://ftwl.org