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Reward rises to $7,500 in case of brown pelican with slashed throat

Reward rises to $7,500 in case of brown pelican with slashed throat
A brown pelican was found with its pouch slashed and is now recovering at a bird rescue center in San Pedro. The reward for information about the attack has risen to $7,500 in just a few hours. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The reward in the case of a brown pelican whose throat was slashed through its pouch swelled to $7,500 in a few hours Wednesday.

The sum rose another $2,500 thanks to the "generous support of individual donors," said Andrew Harmon, a spokesman for International Bird Rescue, the organization overseeing the pelican's care in San Pedro.

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Harmon would identify the donors only as two women from the Los Angeles area. The organization earlier Wednesday had announced a $5,000 reward for any leads in the case.

"We want this situation to end in a favorable way," said Harmon, who cites the species as one reason why he got involved in animal rescue. "We are heartened by the response, and it's amazing to see others who love this animal like we do."

On April 16, an officer with Long Beach Animal Control found the pelican with an ear-to-ear slash through its pouch on East Ocean Boulevard. The brown pelican was described as cold, skinny and malnourished.

International Bird Rescue said the pelican's rehabilitation consists of exams, antibiotics and pain medication, which has helped the female pelican to self-feed again. Its first surgery is scheduled Sunday.

As word of the pelican's gruesome injury spreads, it's likely the reward could increase by Thursday, Harmon said.

Those found to be involved with the attack could face up to six months in federal jail and pay a maximum $15,000 fine.

Anyone with information is asked to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (310) 328-1516 or Long Beach Animal Control at (562) 570-7387. Callers may report anonymously.

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