He hangs out with the other pelicans, and since the rest of them have clipped wings and none of them truly fly, maybe he doesn't notice that he's different.
Maybe all the birds are a little 'off' in one way or another--just that few of their handicaps are as outwardly apparent as having only one wing.
In the natural world, a one winged pelican doesn't get much of a chance. His hopes for survival would be pretty low. I suppose it's right that the kindhearted and merciful zoo people offer the helpless this hope and sanctuary.
But I wonder: do birds appreciate things like kindheartedness, mercy and hope?
I know that as a human with all my outward appendages in place, I don't often-enough think to appreciate these things. Most days I'm probably a whole lot more like a one winged pelican, much more in need of mercy and kindness, than I recognize. And to remember that my future has any hope at all because of the mercy and kindness I've already received?--well that's a lot to remember.
In the natural world, I don't deserve all the mercy and hope that surrounds me.
Sometimes we're all in need of a little bit of sanctuary, where our broken wings don't matter. Where we can rest in someone else's mercy and let hope grow once more within us.