DANIA BEACH, Fla. - It was a big day on the road to recovery for a pelican who was rescued earlier this year.
The bird was found caught in some fishing wire, dangling from a tree. On Monday, it was released into the wild.
No one thought the pelican would survive the ordeal, but the South Florida Wildlife Center stepped in. After months of rehabilitation and six surgeries to sew the bird's wings back together, the story had a happy ending -- not just for one, but four pelicans.
They waddled around on the beach, testing out their newly-repaired wings and then they fly away.
"This is what I wanted to see," said SFWC veterinarian Susan Kelleher. "I can just burst into tears."
It took months of work, but just minutes to release.
Three of the birds suffered from frostbite and needed laser therapy. But one nicknamed White 12 was rescued in January by students who found him tangled in fishing line up a tree -- dangling dangerously -- 75 feet in the air.
"It's just amazing to see the turn," said veterinarian Renata Schneider.