Pelican concerns

Published on 12 October 2020


"Please don't feed us, we can catch our own food!"


If you regularly visit our beautiful waterways, particularly Lake Mulwala, you may have noticed one of the star attractions – pelicans – getting a little over-confident when there is food around.

General Manager Community Sally Rice said some of the pelicans have been getting too close for comfort.

“While well-meaning people may be tempted to feed these wild animals, doing so can harm them,” Ms Rice said.

“To help curb our pelicans’ new-found anti-social behaviour, we are asking residents to not feed them, both for public safety and the health and safety of the birds themselves.

“Pelicans are highly capable fish catchers and need to hunt for their own food – feeding these wild animals can make them dependant on humans which makes it harder for them to survive in the wild.”

Ms Rice said there were a few tips on what to do and not do if a Pelican comes into your personal space.


Remove yourself and those in your care from the situation.

Make yourself intimidating to the pelican by standing tall, making noise by clapping your hands and/or raising your voice in a determined manner at the bird, and if handy, use a towel or similar item and flap it towards the bird until the bird moves out of your personal space.


Harm, touch or feed the Pelican in any way.

“We encourage you to take photographs and admire these wonderful creatures from a distance,” Ms Rice said.

“Pelicans are wild animals so please give them space and if possible, stay at least three metres from them at all times.”