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Man Arrested for Choking a Pelican to Death in Malibu

A pelican seen at the Venice Pier, 2010 (Photo by portillaj via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A 30-year-old man was arrested in Malibu for felony animal cruelty on suspicion of having killed a pelican with his bare hands.

According to witnesses, the suspect, later identified as a local transient named Sergio Alvarez, was seen holding a pelican by the throat and choking it with two hands, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

A witness flagged down a deputy on patrol to relay what they had seen, noting that they saw the pelican had "flapped its wings in distress until its body went limp and died," and identified Alvarez as the one who had fatally choked the bird. The deputy was able to locate the dead bird's body, which was taken into possession by personnel from the California Wildlife Center.

Alvarez was arrested for felony animal cruelty, and was booked at Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. He is being held on $20,000 bail.