The reward has been increased to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest of the person involved in the brutal attack on nearly a dozen pelicans earlier this month along the coastline of Orange County, CA.
At least 11 California Brown Pelicans suffering from severe wing injuries washed up on Bolsa Chica State Beach between September 15th and September 17th. Seven of the Pelicans were found dead by lifeguards. Four surviving birds were transferred to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, CA.
“The one surviving Pelican is doing well” said Debbie McGuire, Wildlife Director at Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center. “She is eating well, perching well and her weight is up. She is still not flapping, though.”
These Pelicans were young females; three juveniles and one sub-adult. Of these four birds, one is alive with a hopeful prognosis. With the exception of the surviving bird, all the Pelicans had compound fractures of the radius and ulna. “The breaks were horrific; the wings were snapped backward, and the last bird that came into the Wildlife Center had 3-4” of bone projecting from both wings” says Lisa Birkle, Assistant Wildlife Director of the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center.
“In my opinion, these injuries appear to be intentional. This does not naturally happen to eleven birds in the span of three days,” said Birkle. “We have never had this many similar injuries in this short an amount of time, 11 on the same beach”.
Several agencies have partnered to increase the reward fund as they realize the seriousness of this type of animal abuse. The agencies involved are Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, Found Animals Foundation, Bolsa Chica Land Trust and International Bird Rescue and Research Center (pledged by IBRRC Board Members, non-operating funds).
The reward fund is currently at $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever may be injuring these birds. To help raise this reward fund to larger levels, please contact IBRRC’s Jay Holcomb.
Anyone with information relating to these incidents is encouraged to contact Special Agent Ed Newcomer of U.S. Fish and Wildlife at (310) 328-1516.