In mid-April, a pelican was found with its pouch cut, mutilated from end to end, by a Long Beach animal control officer in the Belmont Shore area. Two operations later, “Pink’s” pouch was reattached with staples, hundreds of stitches and lots of love and care.
It was clear to rescuers that the injuries sustained by the pelican were not injuries that would be typically caused in nature, meaning someone most likely maliciously cut Pink’s pouch. International Bird Rescue (IBR) Executive Director Jay Holcomb said, “Despite the vicious attack against this pelican, Pink brought out the best in wildlife lovers all over the country, who supported and rallied behind the bird’s care and recovery.”
IBR staff veterinarian Rebecca Duerr said, “Over the course of treatment, I’ve seen Pink transform from weak and sad to feisty and voracious. Despite having the largest pouch laceration I’ve ever seen, he did great during post-operative care and has healed in record time.” Despite Pink’s injuries, he was released this past Tuesday back into the wild to be one of the flock again.
Pink’s miraculous recovery doesn’t erase the damage that was done to such an enchanting animal, and a $20,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the person who injured him.
Photo Credit: Bill Steinkamp / International Bird Rescue