A brown pelican, which is a protected species, was killed after attempting to eat a piece of fish rigged with a "seal bomb" thrown from a charter fishing boat, officials said Wednesday.
The incident occurred May 16 aboard the charter Toronado when two men placed the seal bomb in a piece of fish and threw it into the air. The fish was snatched up by the pelican, which was killed when the bomb exploded, the Los Angeles Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said. A seal bomb normally is used by fishermen to drive seals from commercial fishing grounds.
The killing of a brown pelican is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail, the SPCA said. In addition, state law makes the deliberate killing of any animal punishable by a $20,000 fine and one year in prison.
It was unknown where the incident occurred.