They can be rude and disruptive. Overall, they have a bad rep as disagreeable creatures. It seems man and pelican just don't mix.
That's what makes the relationship between Richard Dunn and Pete the Pelican so unusual.
"He likes to have his ears scratched," says Dunn.
Pete is this guy's best bud. They go everywhere together, even riding in a golf cart. Pete likes to be petted as if he's a dog.
The friendship began three months ago, when Dunn found Pete in distress at a marina in Port Aransas, Texas. The pelican had a hook in its flesh and was tangled in fishing line.
“I was able to put the net over him and hold him down and reach down and pull the hook out of his wing. I expected him to fly off but instead he stayed around and we've been friends ever since,” recalls Dunn.
Dunn nursed Pete back to health. In just a few weeks the pelican was able to fly again. Now, he visits the marina just about every day to play with Dunn.
Dunn said, “It makes me feel good that he trusts me. We have kind of a bond where he knows I am not going to hurt him. He's just like any other pet that would like or love and take care of."
So the next time you think that pelicans are angry birds with nasty temperaments, consider the case of Pete the pelican.