Yesterday, International Bird Rescue (IBR) held a press conference and provided more detailed information regarding the status of the mutilated California brown pelican. Here’s the latest:
- Thanks to the generous support of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and individual donors, the reward has increased to $7,500 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
- Anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 310-328-1516.
- Pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and violators could face imprisonment up to six months and/or a fine of $15,000.
- The pelican is in stable condition and scheduled for surgery on Sunday. This first surgery could take an estimated three hours because the laceration cut through both layers of skin lining the pouch, which means the veterinarian will have to stitch the inner and outer layer on both sides.
- Despite the pelican arriving in an emaciated state because the poor bird couldn’t eat, IBR staff said the prognosis is good. However, the bird may require two or three surgeries depending on how well the wound knits, restitching some areas may be necessary. During intake the pelican weighed 2.5 kg, but through a healthy diet of sardines IBR staff hope to get her back to the average weight of 4 kg.
- Andrew Harmon, IBR’s Director of Marketing and Communications said, “It’s one of the more severe injuries we’ve seen in recent years. It’s the most extensive pouch laceration we’ve seen at this center since it was built in the early 2000s.”
- Harmon estimates the cost of caring for this severely injured pelican to be several thousands of dollars, which includes routine exams, feedings and complicated surgeries.
The bright side of the media event was seeing all the press, check out the pelican paparazzi! It’s great to see so many reporters covering this issue.
If you would like to make a donation to the care cause, visit the International Bird Rescue website.