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A pelican’s tribute to Theodore Roosevelt

February 22, 2011

We realize President’s Day is over, but whatever, now it’s President’s Week. Because you know what? Presidents are awesome. Especially Theodore Roosevelt.

Just doin my pelican thing.

Everyone loves pelicans. Literally everyone in the whole world loves watching us glide gracefully through the air and then, out of nowhere, dive bomb into the ocean to snatch up a fish in our huge pouch. We’ve been around for 30 million years and we’ll probably be around for 30 million more thanks to one man: Theodore Roosevelt.

I bet you didn’t know you had the Rough Rider to thank for all the pelicans you still see flying around everywhere – even in England. For that you can blame your public school education. Since all pelicans are so grateful to this forward-thinking man, we have all become Roosevelt experts and I am here to drop some TR knowledge on you right quick.

Teddy Roosevelt (he hated being called Teddy, btw, but it’s shorter to type so sorry Ted) was one of the first serious conservationists this country had. In 1903 Roosevelt signed an executive order creating Pelican Island in Florida. It was the first wildlife refuge in the country. And he didn’t stop there – during his presidency TR created FIFTY-ONE Federal Bird Reservations. He also established 150 national forests, five national parks, and made the Grand Canyon a national monument, protecting it from excavation and other bad things that would’ve made it less badass.

Let my pelicans go!

Do you know what all the extra space means? More room to glide, dive and bob around on the ocean — all of my favorite things. My pelican ancestors tell me it was touch and go for us for a while until TR came along with his big stick.

Sure he went on safaris (and not the kind where you stay in your jeep and take pictures), and was obsessed with hunting, but times were different then and he was probably bi-polar. But you know what? We love that crazy bastard anyway.

So in conclusion, you da dive bomb, Ted!

-Polly the Roosevelt Expert Pelican


2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2011 12:09 pm

    pelicans are, in fact, amazing up close! i saw one in australia and it blew my mind

    • February 22, 2011 1:05 pm

      Susan believes that pelicans are her “spirit animal” – it’s why it was so easy for her to write this post. And also because they’re awesome!

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