A Southern California wildlife organization is seeking answers after 32 pelicans were attacked and severely maimed along the state’s coast.
The Wetlands and Wildlife Conservation Center, a nonprofit group that works with injured wildlife in Orange County, said Monday that 32 brown pelicans have been seriously injured since March between Huntington Beach and San Clemente. Twenty-two of them had compound fractures in their wings. Only 10 of the injured individuals have survived the attacks, according to reports.
The organization believes one or more people are behind the attacks. “Someone is deliberately breaking the wings of brown pelicans. We need your help to find whoever is doing these terrible things,” the organization said in a statement Monday. Debbie McGuire, the organization’s executive director, told USA TODAY that a $500 reward is being offered for information about the perpetrators.
The organization is also asking for donations to pay for surgeries and care for the pelicans. The surgery could cost about $5,000 and thousands more to rehabilitate the birds. “These are very serious injuries that require emergency surgery and long-term care,” veterinarian Elizabeth Wood said.
The brown pelican was an endangered species in the state in the 1970s, according to the National Park Service. The birds have since recovered, but they remain a protected species in the state.