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Some Jerk Shot A Pelican

pelican-bone.jpg
The pelican being treated and its X-rays (Photo courtesy of International Bird Rescue)
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A brown pelican from Redondo Beach is in recovery after being treated for gunshot wounds that left the bird unable to fly. A wildlife rescue center has put out a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whatever jerk shot the poor bird.

Redondo Beach Animal Control captured a bird with a broken wing on March 12 and took it to the International Bird Rescue wildlife center. It looked like a fishing gear injury had broken the bird's wing until staff took an X-ray and discovered tiny specks of metal. The wildlife center said in a release that it turned out to be a gunshot wound. A vet on site Dr. Rebecca Duerr performed a surgery to pin the bone together. It went well but there is still a risk of complications and infection.

Brown pelicans are federally protected, and they were only recently removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009. Unfortunately, violence against pelicans happens periodically, especially by fishermen who see them as competitors (though pelicans mostly eat sardines and anchovies). Last year, someone mutilated a pelican beak, causing the bird to starve though the bird later made a full recovery. The year before a transient said he choked a pelican because he was hungry. In 2008, someone broke the wings of 11 pelicans.

If you have any information about this latest incident, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 310-328-1516.