Pelican is returned after flight of fancy

A pink pelican which had flown thousands of kilometers off course and landed in Lithuania – where it was feted as a national celebrity – was released back into the Greek wild yesterday. The bird arrived in Greece by airplane on Sunday afternoon and was set free on the shores of Lake Kerkini in Kilkis, northern Greece. The lake is home to some 350 bird species, including two types of pelican. It is not clear what caused the bird to end up in Lithuania last month. But after spending 30 days in quarantine while authorities checked whether it was carrying bird flu, Pranas, as he was named, became a popular figure. The pelican was an attraction for the media and children, for these types of bird are not usually seen in Lithuania as they rarely fly further north than the Balkans on their journey from Africa.