Crime & Justice

Reward now $7,500 in mutilation of pelican in Long Beach (updated)

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who mutilated a California brown pelican in Long Beach. The California brown pelican is a State and Federally listed endangered species protected in both California and the United States.
A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who mutilated a California brown pelican in Long Beach. The California brown pelican is a State and Federally listed endangered species protected in both California and the United States.
stonebird/Flickr

Updated 6:39 p.m. Reward tripled 

The reward has now tripled to $7,500, NBC-LA reported. 

Updated Wednesday 3:55 p.m. Reward doubled 

A reward for information leading to the person who mutilated a California brown pelican was doubled Wednesday to $5000.

Long Beach Animal Control found the pelican last week with its jaw pouch sliced from its bill.

Andrew Harmon, with International Bird Rescue, says the bird was starving when it arrived at the organization's hospital in San Pedro.

"It is a severe injury and as such the bird was unable to feed, and you know without intervention the bird surely would have died," Harmon said. 

The pelican is gaining weight after its pouch was temporarily repaired with staples. It still needs multiple surgeries and several months to fully recover.

Anyone with information can call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

-- KPCC staff

Tuesday:

A bird rescue organization says a pelican found with its pouch slashed will undergo surgery in Southern California.

The International Bird Rescue said Monday that authorities have offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who mutilated the California brown pelican.

The wounded bird was found April 16 near Bayshore Park in Long Beach.

Jay Holcomb, director of the San Pedro-based organization, says it appears a knife or similar sharp instrument was used to cut the bird. Holcomb says the bird appeared thin, so it probably hadn't eaten in a couple weeks. Pelicans scoop fish up with their pouches.

The surgery to stitch the pouch back together will probably take place in the next several days, after the pelican is deemed strong enough.

-- AP