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Pelicans Turning Up With Slashed Pouches, Missing Wings

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) --  Florida Wildlife officials are searching for a person or people who slashed a number of pelicans' pouches and hacked their wings off.

The investigation is ongoing, according to Capt. David Dipre with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

South Florida Veterinarian Don Harris  said he has been able to repair the pouch of one of the pelicans but the other injury is life changing for the animal.

"He can never be released because he is missing a wing. He'll live in one of the rehab facilities as an education bird," said Harris.

Wildlife officials said they are looking for the person who people who are injuring the birds but they have no leads.

"At this time the investigation is ongoing," said Capt. Dipre. "Hopefully we can come up with information that will lead to someone that we can talk to about what's happening with the pelicans."

They are also trying to work with other agencies like the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find the culprit or culprits.

"I haven't seen anything this malicious in 35 years of practicing," said Harris.

All this comes more than a month after a group of teens killed a pelican in Fort Lauderdale.

Wildlife investigators said a boy, along with a few of his friends, tormented a pelican several times throughout one night.

Investigators said the boys were holding the bird's beak closed and blowing electronic cigarette smoke into its eyes and beak. This eventually killed the animal since it does not have nostrils and needs it mouth open to breath.

Anyone with information on the injured birds is asked to call FWC at 850-488-4676.



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