Water Works Pelican

fishing lure stuck in pelican Admission Date: 30 October 2016
Outcome: Released, 19 November 2016 at Howell Station boat ramp, below Lake Red Rock
Location of Rescue: Water Works Park in Des Moines / Polk County
Cause of Admission / Condition: Fishing lure entrapment
Patient Status: Patient Archive, Success Stories

SOAR rescuer Deb was alerted to a pelican in need of assistance at Water Works Park in Des Moines. Thanks also to her son for assisting in the water rescue.

The pelican had a fishing lure with hooks on both ends caught – one end of the lure caught on his beak and the other end of the lure caught on the bird’s left side. Ouch. This pelican watched this year. Young of the year pelicans have some grey / greyish feathers on the back and very pale beaks.

Anglers and all that enjoy the natural areas… please check for fishing line, hooks, lures, trash and pick it up and pack it out with you!


12 November 2016
The pelican has had antibiotics and wormer. The wound on his side was cleaned and packed with neosporin again and needs some more healing before release. We're hopeful that pelicans will still be moving through western Iowa when this one is ready for release!

Water Works pelican

30 October 2016 pelican rescued at Water Works Park with a fishing lure caught on beak and left side. Photo from 3 November 2016 after antibiotics and wormer.


pelican released

30 October 2016 pelican rescued from Water Works Park in DSM released on 19 November 2016 below the Lake Red Rock Dam!