Mr. Percival and his girlfriend have been nesting and taking care of their eggs at Twinnies Pelican and Seabird Rescue in Australia for the past six years. In hopes of having a kid, Mr. Percival faithfully sat on his eggs over the month-long incubation period. His eggs did not, however, hatch.
This all changed in September when the Twinnies caregivers put an egg from another pelican in Mr. Percival’s nest.
“Mr. Percival has never given up trying to have a baby pelican chick,” Twinnies wrote on Facebook. “We felt so sorry for him as it’s so sad when he’s seen the others around him seeing baby pelicans. So we did this amazing thing for him as we wanted to make him really happy this time.”
Australian pelicans reproduce in groups and normally deposit one to three eggs per year. Their young depend totally on their parents for food and warmth because they are born blind and naked.
His caregivers could see how thrilled Mr. Percival was to become a new father when his adopted egg at last hatched. Twinnies said on Facebook that “Mr. Percival was proud as punch.” He moved us to tears. He and his spouse are obviously madly in love with their brand-new pelican chick.
In the weeks since his baby’s birth, Mr. Percival has shown himself to be a devoted dad — splitting the feeding and nesting duties with his partner.
“We are so proud of him as we can see the baby pelican chick is growing beautifully,” Twinnies wrote in a Facebook update. “Mr. Percival goes for a swim and catches little fish then he feeds his little one.”
Mr. Percival and his caregivers, who have looked after him for 18 years, have a particular relationship.
The baby pelican was initially discovered on Chambers Island in Maroochydore, Queensland. He would continually need assistance after being caught in fishing lines and hooks. They kept helping him in the wild up until Mr. Percival had a serious injury that caused him to lose a wing, at which point his caregivers asked for a special permit to transport him to the sanctuary’s protection.
Now, Mr. Percival is experiencing fatherhood for the first time and he’s never happier than when he’s with his baby.
“His behavior is just amazing,” Twinnies wrote on Facebook. “[He’s] been doing a lot of pelican talk to us, as he knows we’re so happy, too.”
“This is true love for our Mr. Percival,” they added.