This is the wholesome story of how a seaside-restaurant owner made friends with an adorable pelican!
Ali El-Oud, owner of Abou Mounir fishery near the lighthouse in Beirut (Manara) has gained an unexpected new customer – a pelican. Ali’s daughter, Sarah Maria El-Oud tells The961 the feathered friend’s name is Ovi (also named Kopy).
Ovi is a rescued pelican who was found through Ali’s 15-year old son.
Scared and beaten, he was taken in by the El-Oud family, who took care of him until he was better. Sarah says her bother would even brush Ovi’s teeth and teach him how to flap his wings!
After consulting with local authorities, the family was advised to keep the pelican at the marina near the lighthouse when he got better.
“He was very safe. We know all the fishermen in the area,” Sarah said. Luckily, Ali’s restaurant was nearby.
“At first we leashed him, but when we realized he was happy and secure we unleashed him.”
That’s when Ovi starting visiting the restaurant all on his own. Every day at a certain time, Ovi would come into the restaurant and ask for his daily fish.
Now, Ovi the pelican is a regular customer!
Ali and his family have a strong connection to animals, noted Sarah. In turn, Ovi now has a connection to the family who looked after him.
Ali, his family, and the local fishermen who keep Ovi in their thoughts while fishing, are proof that kindness still exists to shine a light during these dark times.
It’s easy to see why the video, taken by Bloomberg editor Lin Noueihed, is going viral – just listen to his webbed feet “tap tap tap” the ground as he follows Ali for his fish. There’s nothing cuter!
Fun Fact: The bill of pelicans has an extendable pouch that acts as a net to catch fish and can hold up to 13 liters of water, according to the Backyard Buddies Organization.
When they catch a fish from the sea, they “strain all the water out the sides of their bills, then swallow their meal immediately.”
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