Russian emergency workers have rescued a pelican freezing on drifting ice near the Volga river port of Volgograd, the regional emergencies center said on Thursday.
"We received a call from an official at the river port who said a pelican was drifting on an ice floe in the Volga River and it needed help," said Alexander Vsevolobov, head of the regional emergencies center.
The operation to rescue the bird lasted half an hour, he said. "The pelican tried to escape from the rescuers on water but could not fly as it was apparently too weak."
The pelican could have escaped from a zoo or from a private owner who didn't take proper care of the bird, Vsevolobov said.
Volgograd rescuers said the pelican was in danger of freezing to death in the river's cold waters.
"We brought it to a rescue station and currently the pelican is sitting and warming up in a warm building. It looks as if it has not sustained any injuries," Vsevolobov said.
Pelicans, large water birds with large pouched bills, live near inland and coastal waters, normally in warm regions.
It is rare for a pelican to make an appearance in the Volga area.
VOLGOGRAD, December 31 (RIA Novosti)