Pelicans Settle in Their New Phoenix Zoo Home (Did Someone Say Koalas?)

Six American White pelicans were released into their new habitat at the Phoenix Zoo this week, and are sticking close together for now, according to Dan Subaitis, the zoo's director of animal management.

The pelicans arrived at the Phoenix Zoo last month from the Jackson Zoo in Jackson, Mississippi. They had been rescued from the Gulf area, where they were unable to fly away from the oil slick because of wing injuries. They were held in the Phoenix Zoo hospital for a month before being released into their new habitat, an area at the zoo dubbed the "Wetlands."

"We are anxious to welcome them to their new home where they will have plenty of room to explore and enjoy their natural surroundings," Subaitis told media.

The pelicans will share the three-acre Wetlands area with Sandhill Cranes rescued from Florida, Chilean Flamingos, and Red Brocket deer from Mexico. Several photos of the pelicans being released into the Swamp can be seen on the Phoenix Zoo's Facebook page.

Next month, the Phoenix Zoo will welcome even more new additions, as they receive two koala bears from the San Diego Zoo. The koalas will reportedly be at the Phoenix Zoo for six months, with an exhibit scheduled to open on October 3.

The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway. Admission costs $9 to $18, and is free for zoo members and children 3 and younger. Call 602-273-1341 for more information, or visit www.phoenixzoo.org.

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