Forget Essex lions - Great White seen at Fairlands Lakes

A pelican has landed at Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage – the first known appearance of the bird at the site.

Thought to be a Great White Pelican, the large bird, which can have a wingspan of more than 11 feet, arrived overnight. Park manager of 26 years, Gavin Davis, said he had never seen one there before, and was unsure if the bird, which has been ringed, is an escapee or wild.

He is in talks with experts at the moment.

Paulette Kane, who saw the bird this morning while walking her dogs, said it has been out on the main lake feeding on algae.

“It’s so bizarre. We’ve got a blue-green algae problem and its just putting its beak in and gulping up the algae. It’s a great site for it.

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“We’ve got two herons there, a great crested grebe and a little egrit. It’s wonderful.”

The exotic arrival comes in a week of wild animal claims acrross the UK, sparked by a sighting of a ‘lion’ in Essex.

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Great White Pelicans breed in southeastern Europe, Asia and Africa. There are populations at London Zoo and St James’ Park.

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