The cut went from the front of the pelican’s beak, and continued in a straight line all the way back, ending in what would be the pelican’s “chin” area.
Local police are scouring the South Bay for information regarding the crime, and are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible.
Pelican’s eat by scooping up fish from the sea using their long beaks and the pouch attached at the bottom like a fisherman’s net. When the pelican in this case was discovered, he was very thin, likely due to not being able to eat for the past few weeks.
California brown pelicans were recently removed from the endangered species list, but are still considered a “threatened species.” Harming an endangered species can result in felony charges, and the California brown pelicans are no longer regarded as endangered. However, there is a State law protecting migratory birds, and the California brown pelican is regarded as such. Thus, when the suspect is eventually apprehended, there may still be felony charges leveled against him or her.
This story shows to remind us that not all crimes involve person-to-person contact, and not all victims of crimes are human beings. Thanks to the efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, animals are protected under law as well, as the suspect in this case is sure to find out sooner or later.