Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wild Pelican attacks continue, as 6 more die, Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network is investigating a series of attacks against wild pelicans that have taken place over the past month.

The organization’s rehabilitative specialists examined six deliberately injured birds — euthanizing five and declaring another dead — and determined a human likely committed the attacks. Local animal care officials are issuing pelican awareness campaigns in response to the incidents.

According to SBWCN Animal Care Technician Tracie Gephart, the animals suffered from multiple severe injuries.

“There were five birds that we found alive, and there was one that we found washed up in Oxnard — that was the bird that had two broken wings, a broken beak and the little pouch that it catches fish in — that was ripped off,” Gephart said.

The animal treatment facility lacks the resources to treat the bird’s injuries, according to Gephart.

“That kind of [wing] break would have needed orthopedic surgery, as well as high doses of antibiotics and … critical care,” Gephart said. “Nobody here in Santa Barbara is qualified to do that. So, to make it easier on the animal we have to, unfortunately, euthanize them.” Read More