EXPIRED: 09/02/09 – Mr. Percival, 33, an Australian Pelican, who starred in the ‘76 Australian film Storm Boy about a boy and his 3 pet pelicans. Gringo, the bird’s real name, lived at the Adelaide Zoo, fathered 7 chicks and died of old age.
Bird keepers found Mr. Percival, a favorite at the zoo for visitors and staff, in his enclosure yesterday morning. He had had arthritis for several years and, recently , had been a bit lame and was not eating.
But mostly he was tame and happy to stand with his human keepers.
Storm Boy, which featured the relationship between a boy and the pelican he rears from a chick, was based on the book of the same name by author Colin Thiele.
In the movie, a boy raises three pelican chicks after their mother is shot. When the time comes to release the grown pelicans, two fly away but Mr. Percival returns.
Alto, Mr. Percival’s partner with whom they had their last chick in 2007, did not appear to be pining for her lost partner.