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Transient Fatally Choked Pelican Because He Was Hungry

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Sergio Alvarez, the 30-year-old transient spotted choking a pelican to death near the Malibu Pier, pleaded no contest today in response to one charge of animal cruelty.Alvarez says he killed the bird because he was hungry and had not been able to catch any fish. Previously Alvarez had entered a plea of not guilty, and told investigators he had found the bird dead.

A witness who saw the choking flagged down a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy. The deputy then found Alvarez, as well as the remains of the bird.

Brown pelicans are protected by state law, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

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