Jeffrey Condon, camp manager of the Greystroke Mahale safari camp in Tanzania is good at what he does. So good . . . one of the animals under his charge could not get enough of him. Even though Condon was surrounded by all types of wildlife, this pelican formed an incredible bond with the animal lover in 2014.
Have GoPro Will Go
When Bigbird was rescued on the beach outside Greystoke Mahale, he was a "scraggly mess." But this irrepressible bird learned to survive. For the next two years, he quickly matured into a healthy 26 lbs member of the family, complete with comical habits like stealing the staff's sunglasses or magazines and discarding them in the lake.
According to reports, Condon took over most of the daily activities each morning. This was the beginning as to how this unlikely friendship came to be.
With over 16 million views on YouTube [as of this posting] Condon used a GoPro camera to capture the bird he called Bigbird to the world.
As an orphan, Condon actually taught his new avian friend how to fish. Something he would have learned from his parents had he not been separated. Watching online, interested folks like myself were able to cheer Bigbird on as he caught his first meal.
“When he was about a year old, I started teaching him to fish because he didn’t have his colony to show him how,” Jeffrey told the Financial Times. “I had to go out fishing for him anyway, and I thought that if I brought him with me I might awaken some of his natural fishing instincts.”
As we learned about this special bond, there was hope that Bigbird might one day soar and fish with his own species once again.
Unfortunately, that day will never come. Bigbird perished in a boating accident in February 2016, leaving Condon and the camp staff deeply saddened.
“We all have very heavy hearts here," reads a post on the Greystroke Mahale Facebook page. "BB was a huge part of our lives and now a large hole is felt in Mahale, he will be greatly missed by all."
"He was taken too early but had a very loving and exciting life with us all here," was posted on a blog post. "To the ones who got to know our friendly pelican you will have the greatest memories to treasure forever."
Primary Source: Earth Touch News