Pelican Found On Local Beach Mutilated With Jaw Pouch Cut - KMSP-TV

Pelican Found On Local Beach Mutilated With Jaw Pouch Cut

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San Pedro, CA - UPDATE:

It's up to $7500 dollars!

The reward leading to information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for mutilating a brown pelican found in San Pedro. Agencies are coming forward to add to the reward. Public reaction has been strong to news that someone cut the animal's  pouch, separating it from the beak. The animal could not eat, and was starving when found.

It is recuperating at the International Bird Rescue in San Pedro where veterinarians say it will need several surgeries to reattach the pouch.




50/50, those are the chances of survival for a mutilated brown pelican found in San Pedro, according to those trying to save the bird.  The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible has been doubled to $5,000.

"We haven't seen anything this horrible in a long time" says Jay Holcomb, with the International Bird Rescue center in San Pedro. The bird's pouch was slit completely open with a sharp knife. "Pelicans are of no threat to anyone, yet they continue to be mutilated and even killed by people who see them as competition for fish" adds Holcomb.

Indeed, it is usually fishermen, angry at pelicans that go after their bait, that end up being involved in the birds' injuries, when they are rescued. The sardines and anchovies used as bait are the pelicans' main diet. But the fisherman at the pier off Bayshore Park, where this animal was found, say they can't imagine anyone going this far.

"I mean, they can be a a pest, but that's crazy!" says one man who didn't want his name used.

Another one chimes in saying it would have taken more than one person, since pelicans are strong.

It will take several surgeries to stitch the pouch back together. Barring no infections, or other complications, the female pelican could be back in the wild in four months.




(FOX 11 / CNS) A California brown pelican that apparently had its jaw pouch slit is expected to undergo surgery, and a $5,000 reward was being offered today for information that leads to the culprit.

Long Beach animal control officers found the pelican April 16 in the 5400 block of Ocean Boulevard near Bayshore Park, according to officials at the International Bird Rescue center in San Pedro. Pending surgery to stitch up the pouch, the slit has been stapled shut to enable the bird to feed itself.

"Pelicans are of no threat to anyone yet they continue to be mutilated and even killed by people who see them as competition for fish," IBR director Jay Holcomb said. "The truth is a pelican's diet is mostly anchovies and sardines, fish that are used as bait by people who fish for sport."

Holcomb told the Daily Breeze the pelican's chance of fully recovering was about "50-50." It apparently had not been able to eat for some time because pelicans dive on their prey and scoop up fish in their pouches, he told the newspaper.

California brown pelicans were recently removed from the endangered species list but remain a threatened species.

The IBR initially announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to the person who attacked the pelican. The Animal Legal Defense Fund later doubled the reward to $5,000.

Anyone with information on who may have harmed the pelican was asked to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (310) 328-1516.

From Gina Silva:
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who deliberately slashed the pouch of a California brown pelican. Workers with the Long Beach Animal Care Services say the cut was too clean to consider any other explanation.

The Pelican was found last Wednesday on Ocean Boulevard near Bayshore Park in San Pedro. Vets were able to staple it's pouch so it can eat but the pelican will have to undergo several surgeries. The prognosis for a full recovery is 50-50. California brown pelicans are a threatened species, harming the bird could result in a felony. If you have any information about this case, please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


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