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Reward in pelican mutilation case doubles to $20,000 amid outrage

Reward in pelican mutilation case doubles to $20,000 amid outrage
Pink the brown pelican had undergone two surgeries to repair an extensive slash to his pouch that left him unable to feed for days until being rescued in Long Beach. (International Bird Rescue)

The reward for information leading to whoever was responsible for mutilating a brown pelican, leaving it flopping and unable to feed for days in Long Beach, has doubled to $20,000, rescuers announced Thursday.

The fate of the brown pelican, which was found on Ocean Boulevard April 16 in Long Beach with an ear-to-ear gash across its pouch, has outraged many animal lovers, prompting multiple anonymous donors to contribute to the reward fund.

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The latest boost in funding came from an anonymous donor in Southern California, according to International Bird Rescue, which is caring for the pelican at its center in San Pedro.

The organization also announced that the Port of Long Beach had donated $5,000 toward the bird's surgical and rehab needs.

"Far too often, we see victims of senseless cruelty at the hands of people who are never punished," Jay Holcomb, International Bird Rescue's executive director, said in a statement. "We are thankful for the support of an anonymous donor to bring further attention to this horrifying case, and grateful for the Port of Long Beach’s support of Pink’s long-term care.” 

Over the past five days, the pelican -- identified as "Pink" because of a band around her leg -- has undergone two surgeries by International Bird Rescue staff veterinarian Rebecca Duerr, the organization said. The pelican was under anesthesia for a total six hours as Duerr completed hundreds of stitches to repair the injury.

Before surgery, temporary staples held the pelican's pouch together that, within a few days, allowed the bird to self-feed on sardines. When Pink was found, the bird was "extremely anemic," likely because of blood loss, International Bird Rescue said.
As of last week, Pink was recovering in an aviary alongside a second brown pelican and three Western gulls.
Anyone with information can report anonymously to U.S. Fish and Wildlife at (310) 328-1516 or Long Beach Animal Control at (562) 570-7387.

Twitter: @AliciaDotBank

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