Last Breaths Before Eternal Slumber
There's a sad story behind this image shot in a small fishing town in Ilo, Peru.
I came upon this pelican while roaming around the seaport just after sundown. I immediately mounted my camera and wide-angle lens on my tripod and set up as close as I could without disturbing its nap. A few times I got a bit too close. It would open its eyes, move its wings a bit, then settle back into its sleep. I thought nothing of it and continued shooting, watching its slow, undulating breaths matching that of the waves crashing on the shore. Once I was satisfied I packed up and walked off.
About five minutes later, before leaving the area, I walked by this same spot and noticed the pelican flopping around, apparently convulsing. It continued for a minute or two before laying completely motionless. I was stunned to see it no longer breathing. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe because I felt we shared a nice, peaceful moment just minutes earlier, enjoying the ebb and flow of life around us. I was deeply affected.
Sadly, after seeing many more pelican cadavers on the shore in another area nearby, I learned from some locals that the reason so many are dying is due to over-fishing and water contamination from local mining. It's heartbreaking seeing the effects these industries are having on the local ecosystem.+Ray Bilcliff +Sherry McBriar +Margaret Tompkins +Water Bird Wednesday #WideAngleWednesday +Asif Patel +Wide Angle Wednesday #WildlifeWednesday +Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus
#WetWednesday +Jen Baptist +Wet Wednesday #travel #peru #southamerica #nature