Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 | 7 p.m.
Two rescued brown pelicans have found a home on the Las Vegas Strip at the Wildlife Habitat of the Flamingo casino.
The two birds, which arrived today, were injured in fishing lines, rendering them flightless. The Pacific Wildlife Project nursed them back to health. But the pelicans were too wounded to return to the wild, as the organization does with hundreds of other birds each year.
The Flamingo adopted them and renovated an island that formerly served as home to a colony of penguins, which were on loan to the habitat. Robin Matos, the resort’s wildlife manager, said her staff installed a perching dock and a misting system to keep the pelicans cool under the hot desert sun.
The pelicans' names? Bugsy and Virginia — after mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, who built the original Flamingo, and his long-legged, red-headed girlfriend, Virginia Hill, for whom he named the resort.
The habitat, open 24 hours a day, has about 500 animals, including 10 pink flamingos and a pond of black swans, ducks, helmet guineafowls and a variety of fish.