REGINA -- An injured pelican is recovering in Regina after it was rescued by the Melville Fire Department.

Resident Tracy Kerestesh was out walking her dogs when she spotted something walking on the frozen reservoir. A pelican was limping along the frozen body of water looking for food.

“Pelicans have flown south at least two weeks ago there is no open water, there is no food,” Kerestesh said.

Kerestesh called a friend, Norm Konechny, the deputy fire chief in the area.

“I said I would go home and get a crate by the time I went home and got the crate and came back out here he already had rescue out here, (and) the men were gearing up to go on the ice,” she said.

Konechny has been a part of the Melville Fire Department for more than 50 years and has never had the experience of saving a pelican.

“This is a new one,” Konechny said. “We have rescued a parakeet and canaries out of trees, cats, and a human out of a tree who got trapped. All these other things so this was a new one.”

Konechny knew the fire department had the resources available to do an ice rescue so he called his crew who stepped up to the task. Safety protocol for water rescues was followed.

The bird was then immediately transferred to the Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Regina where he is resting.

Megan Lawrence is the director of rehabilitation at the centre and has been monitoring the pelican.

“He comes out of his enclosure and he’s on strict cage rest right now but he comes out a couple times a day to stretch his wings and feed him,” Lawrence said. “He interacts with the other pelican we have in care and they get along quite well.”

In the next 10 to14 days Lawrence hopes the bird will be healthy enough to transport to a facility in Manitoba where it will spend its winter rehabbing in a pool before being released back into the wild in the spring.

“I think everyone felt good to help something that was in trouble,” Kerestesh said.