HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — A reward for information in the attack and mutilation of dozens of brown pelicans along the coast of Orange County has grown to $5,500.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is contributing $5,000 to track down whoever is responsible for severely injuring more than 30 brown pelicans from San Clemente to Huntington Beach since October of last year.
"It's extremely worrisome that these pelicans have been the victims of a nine-month onslaught with no end in sight," Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in a statement. "Violence towards animals is a strong predictor of violence towards humans, meaning that these cruel attacks pose concerns for the safety of humans and animals alike."
Most of the pelicans were found with broken wings, and one was found with a twisted wing and bones protruding. Most did not survive, and those who did required emergency surgery and long-term care.
Authorities believe the pelicans were intentionally injured, and the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center – which is nursing the pelicans back to health – is working with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in investigating the attacks.
Anyone in California found to maliciously and intentionally maim or mutilate a living animal faces a fine of up to $20,000, up to three years in prison, or both.
Anyone with information about the attacks on brown pelicans can make an anonymous tip to Fish and Wildlife officials at 1-888-334-2258.
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