Ballina mourns death of Pelican Man
By HANNAH ROSS LOCAL wildlife hero Lance Ferris has died.
Known to many as the Pelican Man, Mr Ferris collapsed from a stroke on Saturday morning at the Ballina headquarters of Australian Seabird Rescue, the organisation he founded some 15 years ago to defend the wellbeing of marine wildlife.
He was taken by ambulance to Lismore Base Hospital, but his condition deteriorated late on Saturday and he died in the arms of his friend, partner and colleague Marny Bonner in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He was 60 -years - old.
Ms Bonner said yesterday Mr Ferris' health had deteriorated in recent months.
"He was exhausted by his work, but Australian Seabird Rescue was his mission. It is a huge job and no matter how hard he worked there was always another school group to meet or injured turtle to rescue," Ms Bonner said.
In fact, Mr Ferris was out doing what he did best on Friday, trying to herd a loggerhead turtle from the boat harbour at Evans Head.
Ms Bonner said Mr Ferris had a 'great sense of fairness' and a 'family tradition of community service'. She paid tribute to his commitment to defending wildlife and educating the younger generation.
Mr Ferris is survived by two adult children, Jason and Rochelle.
Details of a public memorial service will be announced this week.