Stowaway pelican arrives in Tampa aboard cruise ship
BluePearl veterinarians treat a stowaway pelican. Courtesy: James Judge/BluePearl
A stowaway, discovered on a cruise ship that arrived in Tampa Wednesday, isn't telling any stories.
The stowaway is a pelican that flew into the Royal Caribbean's 'Jewel of the Seas', shortly after the ship left Cozumel, Mexico, on Christmas Day. The bird's rough landing aboard the ship left it with an injured wing. It's also suffering from dehydration, and some rehabilitation will be needed.
Even before its cruise ship vacation, this bird was no stranger to travel. It was originally banded in Holland Island, Maryland, back in September.
On Thursday, the ship's crew transferred the bird to Hillsborough County Animal Services, which called on the doctors with the avian and exotics medicine team at BluePearl Veterinary Partners. On Friday, it will be transferred to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.