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11 Pelicans Die After Wings Deliberately Broken

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Pelicans in Huntington Beach, like these in Marina Del Rey, may have been the target of criminals | Photo by doisneau via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Pelicans in Huntington Beach have apparently been targeted by someone who is deliberately breaking their wings, leading ultimately to the birds' deaths. 11 brown pelicans have died in a three-day span, which has alerted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who are investigating the deaths and looking for the responsible party. According to MyFox Los Angeles, "The Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, which is caring for the lone surviving pelican, has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible."

The pelicans were found with broken wings earlier this week by lifeguards who work at Bolsa Chica State Beach, and were taken to the Care Center for medical attention. There they determined that the breaks were intentional--compound fractures comparable to "a human with an arm broken from the elbow to the wrist." Further, a Care Center employee explained that the "breaks run in the opposite direction than might be expected if it happened in flight." The pelicans were left at sea and most died by drowning since they could not take flight and were caught in the surf. If you know anything about the pelicans' broken wings, please contact Special Agent Ed Newcomer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (310) 328- 1516.