Nova Scotia

Ralph the pelican finally heads home

Ralph the Pelican is finally on the move after being stranded in Nova Scotia since September.

Ralph the pelican is finally on the move after being stranded in Nova Scotia since September.

Named after Ralph's Club, the Dartmouth strip bar where he was found, Ralph blew into the Maritimes during Hurricane Earl.

Since then, the animal shelter where he's been staying in Lawrencetown, N.S., has been unable to get the proper permits to get the bird on a plane to head south.

Gerry Sowerby, a professional endurance driver, volunteered to drive him to a wildlife sanctuary in North Carolina in a van.  

"His first night he's going to be staying in Fredericton," Sowerby said Sunday before their departure. "There was an offer from one of the hotels to put the truck right in the ballroom of the hotel room, but the truck is two inches too wide."

"So the local Chevy dealer up there has volunteered to put him in his dealership for the night, which will be good because we can put him in the detailing shop and hose him down."

Stranded pelican Ralph is heading back to the U.S., months after being blown into Canada during Hurricane Earl. ((CBC))

Hope Swinemar, the head of the Hope for Wildlife Society, has been taking care of Ralph at the group's rehabilitation centre for wild animals in nearby Seaforth and will be along on the journey as well.

Ralph will spend the rest of the winter at a rehabilitation centre in North Carolina before being released in the spring.

Sowerby said he expects to cross the U.S. border early Monday and will meet a veterinarian waiting to inspect the pelican.

With files from The Canadian Press