Look out Wang Wang and Fu Ni – looks like you have some A-list competition at Adelaide Zoo!
The zoo now has two movie starts amongst its inhabitants. Pelicans Salty and Skye have featured in the 2019 new Australian film Storm Boy.
Salty and Skye arrived at their new home at Adelaide Zoo after they finished filming in September last year, and the pair have since been living incognito with the rest of our beautiful pelican flock.
Adelaide Zoo’s veterinary team also lent a helping hand during the filming of Storm Boy, having hand-raised the group of young chicks who featured in the story.
Movie-goers will soon get a glimpse into what it’s really like to hand raise a pelican when Storm Boy hits the big screen in January 2019.
Adelaide Zoo keeper Amelia Kennett said helping to hand raise the young pelicans during filming was a truly special opportunity.
“Raising these beautiful birds took a lot of work and many, many hours between our team, but it has been a privilege to see them grow up and develop their own individual personalities,” Amelia said.
“And now we’re all very pleased to have welcomed Salty and Skye, they are thriving here at Adelaide Zoo with the rest of the flock.
“As pelicans, they love their feeding time and can be quite boisterous and funny, so I’m really looking forward to seeing that cheekiness come alive on the big screen. I think they’ll have quite a few fans coming to visit them once Storm Boy is released.”
Starring alongside actors Jai Courtney, Trevor Jamieson, Geoffrey Rush and breakout talent Finn Little, Salty played the iconic Mr Percival, a young pelican who is rescued and develops a special friendship with a boy.
Based on the beloved book by Colin Thiele, Storm Boy follows the story of Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood growing up on an isolated coastline with his father.
He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival.
Adelaide Zoo was previously the proud home to the original Mr Percival, who starred in the 1976 Storm Boy. Mr Percival arrived at Adelaide Zoo in 1988 where he was a true crowd favourite before he passed away at 33-years-old in 2009.
Storm Boy is in cinemas on 17 January, 2019. You can have a sneak peek of it here: