Crime & Justice

$5,000 reward offered in Redondo Beach pelican shooting

The California Brown Pelican is a State and Federally listed endangered species protected in both California and the United States.
The California Brown Pelican is a State and Federally listed endangered species protected in both California and the United States.
stonebird/Flickr

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot a brown pelican in Southern California.

Redondo Beach Animal Control picked up the adult male March 12 because he couldn't fly — they took him to the International Bird Rescue center in San Pedro. Staff there removed a fishing hook from the bird's shoulder. When they took an X-ray, they noticed one of his wings was broken — and they found bullet fragments.

"We receive hundreds of pelicans each year — most of them come in a little bit sick, maybe dehydrated, a lot of fishing line and fishing hook injuries," says Bird Rescue spokesman Russ Curtis. "What's uncommon is that fact that this one was shot. It doesn't happen too often, thank gosh, but it's something we want to let folks know — this is a concern of ours."

Curtis says the bird is in good condition — he's been through surgery this week and is standing on his own. The reward money is being put up with help from an anonymous donor.

This story has been updated.