Updated: Brown Pelican gunshot victim has perished

Resting after two surgeries to repair a broken wing bone, this male Brown Pelican is in critical condition. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue
This male Brown Pelican is still in critical condition after being shot in early March. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

Updated April 14, 2015:  Sadly, the Brown Pelican gunshot victim died this week.

Nearly a month following the horrific shooting of a Brown Pelican found in Redondo Beach, International Bird Rescue is still caring for this critically injured seabird. After two major surgeries the bird is receiving supportive care due to an infected gunshot wound that fractured the bird’s ulna (wing).

This majestic male Brown Pelican is receiving nutritional support plus pain medications and antibiotics to treat his infection. The large amount of damaged tissue at the gunshot wound is continuing to be an obstacle to healing.

“This Pelican is in very guarded condition and we’re treating him with utmost care to help him heal,” says Dr. Rebecca Duerr, International Bird Rescue’s staff veterinarian. “We hope that the public will assist us in finding the people responsible for this needlessly cruel and illegal act.”

Through an anonymous donor, there is a $5,000 reward offered to anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this shooting. To report, please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 310-328-1516.


On March 12th, a pelican that could not fly, was captured by Redondo Beach Animal Control. After being brought to our Los Angeles wildlife center, International Bird Rescue staff discovered he had a broken wing (ulna) and a fish hook embedded in his right shoulder.

This case seemed like a straightforward fishing gear injury until clinic staff took x-rays and discovered the ulna fracture was due to a gunshot wound. Tiny speckles of metal visible were noted in the radiograph image.

Pelican-Adopt-ButtonBrown Pelicans are federally protected birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As a species only recently removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009, Brown Pelicans have enough challenges in their lives without being shot.

IBR depends on the support of the public to care for animals injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear and other human-caused injuries. Please donate now or Adopt-a-Pelican