Photo via Davrozs via Flickr CC
What to do when you're stuck at a zoo all day and someone drops something shiny into your pen? Well, swallow it, naturally. The pelicans in Tauphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls last week were playing with a cell phone dropped in to their pen, and by the time zoo officials made it over to remove it, one of the pelicans gulped it down.Earth First reports that the pelican regurgitated the cell phone after it realized it probably wasn't a great idea to try and digest a hunk of metal and plastic. (Insert inappropriate joke about e-waste here.)
There's a quote from the zoo's superintendant that begs quite the eco question:
"Luckily the bird regurgitated it so it wouldn't harm him," zoo superintendent Bill Gersonde told Idaho Falls' KIDK News. "We just need folks to be really cautious when they're in the zoo and remember that they're guests in the animals' homes and they need to keep their personal belongings as close to them as possible."
Wouldn't that ring true for, well, anywhere? If there's any greater example, it's the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the zoo incident multiplied to a global scale.
On a related note, there's another crazy thing pelicans do when they're put in an unnatural situation. They develop a taste for critters they wouldn't normally eat. The pelicans in St. James Park in London have been known to eat pigeons and (purportedly) ducks. Check out this video from a couple years ago evidencing it.
More Random Zoo Stories
Zoos Warn Mad Max Landscapes are Probability: Caused By Climate Change
Zoo Installation Shows Trouble In Wildlife Paradise
Poo Power Could Supply All of Toronto Zoo's Electricity Needs and Then Some