International Bird Rescue Seeks Leads in Animal Cruelty Case

International Bird Rescue is seeking information into a suspected animal cruelty case involving a juvenile Brown Pelican found with its wings extensively clipped.

The bird, which is currently in care at International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay Center, was originally brought to Los Coches Veterinary Hospital in Soledad, Calif. with all of its primary and secondary feathers on both wings clipped. As a result, the bird was unable to fly, and therefore unable to hunt, and had become emaciated.

Anyone with information on the perpetrator or perpetrators behind this animal cruelty case should call US Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Offices in Burlingame, Calif. at 650.876.9078. The abuse of this animal is a federal offense. Brown Pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“No one is sure as to how or why this happened,” said Jay Holcomb, director emeritus of International Bird Rescue. “This type of atrocity is not common, but when it happens, it’s shocking and demonstrates the disconnectedness that some people have with nature.”

At International Bird Rescue, wildlife rehabilitation staff has stabilized the Pelican’s health and has begun plucking the clipped feathers under anesthesia to encourage new feathers to come in.

“This is a four-month-old pelican. The feather clipping comes at a crucial time in the bird’s education, as it’s learning to fish and care for itself. Our goal is to get the bird back into the wild as soon as possible so that it can continue to develop its survival skills,” Holcomb said.