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Pelican lost beak, made a friend




Life at times makes people question what this world is coming to. But of all the things you could possibly see, a pelican with a knife jabbed through its beak is one of the last to be imagined. 

Cedar Key is home to a plethora of pelicans. They fly about, eating fish and hanging along docks. Occasionally they will swoop down and mess with a fisherman’s bait, but never has there been any repercussion other than some sailor swearing; till this year.

What some locals are calling Beaker, is a full grown male pelican that has shown a will to live. After thwarting wildlife officials attempts to catch him earlier in the year, Beaker finally met his match on the dock of Danny Beckham. 

Beckham had seen Beaker hanging around his place in Cedar Key, Fishbones. He noticed the knife, shaft up, with the blade trapping Beaker’s mouth open about four inches.

“Someone had done this deliberately,” said Beckham.

?Tossing mullet heads out for Beaker to eat for a couple of days, Beckham was able to bait Beaker into a close proximity. Armed with his cast net and steady aim, Beckham tossed the net and caught Beaker within a couple of minutes. 

?He held Beaker there as he pulled the knife out of its beak; the wound was fresh. Measuring the knife, it is nine inches in length. The handle is white inlaid with design. 

?With the ability to use his beak again, Beaker walked off wiggling his tail. Beckham said it was clear he was much happier. 

?Beaker has stayed around Fishbones for over a month basking in the free food; however on one of his last visits, Beckham noticed his top beak has fallen off from the wound forward. 

?Beaker is not the first pelican Beckham has saved. On average he said he will catch 1-2 wounded pelicans every other week.

? Most common wounds range from fishing line wrapped around wings, to hooks in beaks. Beaker was not so lucky; he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

?Beckham simply tosses mullet heads their way and it only takes a couple of days for them to get friendly enough for him to catch.

?As of the week of June 10, Beaker has been missing in action. Beckham said he had not seen him at all. Let’s hope he is simply flying around learning to feed with his broken beak.