A zoo curator using a kayak tries to catch a pelican in order to move him into its winter enclosure at the zoo in Liberec, Czech Republic, Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

With the winter cold in the northern hemisphere approaching, keepers at the Liberec Zoo in northern Czech Republic are giving their 10 great white pelicans a helping hand to find their way to somewhere warmer.

In the wild, the big water birds would migrate thousands of miles south to warmer climes every autumn, but that is not an option for these birds.

So, as temperatures drop by the day, it’s the right time for action for more than a dozen keepers. On Tuesday, they were busy, chasing the pelicans in two kayaks and a boat on a lake in an effort to round them up and move them to a heated indoor enclosure within the zoo.

Once the pelicans were on land, keepers were able to gather them up and carry them to their winter quarters.

To avoid injuring the birds, they handled them only with their bare hands — not an easy task given the wingspan of the pelicans surpasses 3 meters (over 10 feet) and their weight reaches 15 kilograms (33 pounds).

Once the winter is over, the birds will be returned to their open-air enclosure.


Zoo curators carry pelicans in order to move them into their winter enclosure at the zoo in Liberec, Czech Republic. ASSOCIATED PRESS

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