Press Release

$5,000 Reward Offer for Information about Attacks on Pelicans in California

Animal Legal Defense Fund increases reward offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for attacking over 30 pelicans in Orange County, California


ORANGE COUNTY, Ca. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, is offering an additional $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for attacking and mutilating dozens of brown pelicans on the coast of Orange County, California. The reward now totals up to $5,500.  

Along the California coastline stretching from San Clemente to Huntington Beach, 32 brown pelicans have been found with broken wings since October 2020. Recently, a pelican was discovered with a twisted wing and bones protruding. Most pelicans did not survive, and those who did needed emergency surgery and long-term care. Officials believe the injuries were inflicted purposefully. The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center is providing rehabilitative care to the pelicans and is working closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on investigating this matter.  

“It’s extremely worrisome that these pelicans have been the victims of a nine-month onslaught with no end in sight,” says Stephen Wells, Animal Legal Defense Fund executive director. “Violence towards animals is a strong predictor of violence towards humans, meaning that these cruel attacks pose concerns for the safety of humans and animals alike. We’re hopeful that the local community will come forward with information to prevent further harm.”  

In California, the maximum penalty for maliciously and intentionally maiming or mutilating a living animal is a fine of up to $20,000 or up to three years imprisonment, or both.  

If you have information related to the attacks of these pelicans, please contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-888-334-2258 (1-888-334-CalTIP). All tips will remain anonymous. 

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