‘I take care of them’: Cuban man befriends pelican colony

Location: Guanimar, Cuba

This man has spent 20 years caring for 100 pelicans

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PELICAN CARETAKER LEONARDO CARRILLO, SAYING: [SOUNDBITE STARTS OVER SHOT OF PELICAN] "They come from Florida every year, they come at the end of December, and they are here with me for six months. For six months, I feed them, take care of them, deworm them with what I have because I don't have any medication."

Carrillo says he gathers leftovers from the village for his friends

and cures them if they have any injuries, like those caused by fishing hooks

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PELICAN CARETAKER LEONARDO CARRILLO, SAYING: "I do it because 20 years ago, people hunted them, fished them, and killed them… Now the law is going to be more severe. You can't kill them; you have to respect them. I've had problems because of this, not with the beachgoers, the beachgoers respect it, but with those who come from outside."

Nicknames for the migrating pelicans include 'Michel the noble and 'Panchito the affectionate'

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PELICAN CARETAKER LEONARDO CARRILLO, SAYING:"There are some that I name. They may all look the same but in reality each one has different characteristics. I go by that. It's like my cats. There are 20 black cats, but they always have a trait that I can identify them with."

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