A pelican predicament has arisen after increased reports of the birds getting too close to people at Lake Mulwala in Yarrawonga.
Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said pelicans were much-loved by visitors and residents alike but warned the birds shouldn't be fed.
“While some well-meaning people may be tempted to feed these wild animals, doing so can harm them,” Cr Mustica said.
“Also, they can become aggressive in their attempts to obtain food and can cause injury, both to themselves and to people.
“Pelicans are highly capable fish catchers and need to hunt for their own food — feeding these wild animals can make them dependant on humans, which makes it harder for them to survive in the wild.”
These waterbirds inhabit the surrounds of Lake Mulwala in Yarrawonga and are accustomed to people being within the vicinity.
Moira Shire Council has provided tips on what to do if a pelican gets too close for comfort:
■ Remove yourself and those in your care from the situation.
■ Make yourself intimidating to the pelican by standing tall, making noise by clapping your hands and/or raising your voice in a determined manner at the bird, and if handy, use a towel or similar item and flap it towards the bird until the bird moves out of your personal space.
Visitors are warned not to harm, touch or feed the animals.
“We encourage you to take photographs and admire these wonderful creatures from a distance,” Cr Mustica said.
“Pelicans are wild animals so please give them space and if possible, stay at least three metres from them at all times.”