Watch video of rescued pelicans set free at Fort De Soto Park
The birds waddled out of their cages. In groups of two, they moved quickly.
Most flew off right away. Some stuck around, letting a gentle current carry them away from the beach.
Cameras tracked every move. The pelicans were oblivious.
Two weeks ago, the birds — 32 brown pelicans in all — were picked up off the coast of southeast Louisiana. All had been awash in oil from the BP disaster.
On Wednesday afternoon, under the watchful eyes of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials, park volunteers, media and a clump of beachgoers, the rescued birds were released on a secluded spot on North Beach.