$10,000 Reward Offered in Mutilation of Brown Pelican in Long Beach, CAPosted on April 28, 2014
For immediate release:
Megan Backus, ALDF
April 24, 2014 – Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense fund (ALDF) along with the International Bird Rescue (IBR) are offering a total $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator (s) responsible for mutilating a pelican in Southern California. On April 16th, a California Brown Pelican was found at 5400 Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach by Animal Control. The bird—whose entire throat pouch was cut with a sharp knife-like object—is undergoing care IBR’s bird hospital in San Pedro. One or more surgeries involving hundreds of stitches will be required to repair the bird’s injuries. Staples are temporarily holding the pouch in place and the bird is thin and weak from not being able to eat. Photos of the bird and his injuries are available at bird-rescue.org.
California Brown Pelicans are a threatened species only taken off the endangered species list in 2009. Migratory birds like California Brown Pelicans are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, under Fish and Game Code 3511. Under these laws and California’s Penal Code§ 597(a)—which prohibits maliciously and intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing, or wounding a living animal—as well as 597(c), the perpetrator (s) could be charged with a misdemeanor offense leading to one year in the county jail and/or a $20,000 penalty, or face felony charges and three years in the county jail and/or a $20,000 fine.
“We call on anyone with information of this sadistic crime to come forward,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The relationship between animal cruelty and violence against humans is well-documented and abusers often go on to harm humans as well.”
Anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person (s) responsible for the mutilation of this bird should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 310-328-1516.