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Home / Articles / Features / Feature Articles /  Valentine the Pelican - A True Story
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Thursday, February 8,2018

Valentine the Pelican - A True Story

By Susan Hargreaves  

Here’s a true story I tell as part of Animal Hero Kids free kindness presentations. There once was a pelican named Valentine, so named, because he came in needing help to a wildlife rehabilitation center I was working at on Valentine’s Day. He was missing the top part of his beak. This meant that he could not pick up his food. All of the other pelicans who were brought into the center because of the negative effects of fishing, like getting entangled in fishing lines and swallowing hooks would not speak to Valentine. 

The other pelicans would not even stand beside him outside by the pelican pool. So, Shelly Schlueter, who was the leader of the center at the time, put her thinking cap on. “Ah..Hah.. he needs a transplant.” Shelley came up with the idea of asking a dentist who cares about animals to donate some orthodontic wire. Then a beak was taken from a pelican who had died from old age. The new piece of the beak was added to the broken part of Valentine’s beak and attached using the waterproof orthodontic materials. All of the volunteers and staff watched as Valentine was put back in with the other pelicans who were around the pelican pool where they rest before their release.

The first thing Valentine did was to pick up a fish for the first time since being brought in to the center, he could now feed himself. All of the other pelicans gathered around Valentine speaking to him in pelican language. In my presentation I ask the students what they think the other pelicans said to Valentine.

Everyone in the class including the adults think about how important it is to accept others differences when they hear the story of Valentine and his new beak. Valentine turned out to be a perfect name for him because his story opens hearts.

–Susan Hargreaves“Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless” book.

Some of the answers have been “We’re sorry for ignoring you”, “Who did your beak? , “Will you be my friend?”

Now that your hearts are open, here’s a special vegan treat from the “Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless” vegan kids section, a vegan recipe filled w i t h l o v e towards all species with no animal product ingredients and nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate!

Valentine Vegan Mocha Bars

Here’s vegan Animal Hero Kid Sky’s favorite no bake treats. 


2/3 cup of quick cooking oats

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons of oat flour

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

11/2 cup of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of decaffeinated instant coffee granules

1/4 cup of vegan dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup of coconut oil

2 tablespoons of water

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


1 Combine dry ingredients, mix well in a mixing bowl.

2 Combine liquid ingredients in a cup, then pour wet into dry.

3 Transfer into a plastic bag and form into a ball.

4 Now you can form into smaller balls or if needed put it in the fridge until its firmer.

Enjoy !!! No baking required. 


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