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December 23, 2002

Brown Pelicans being shot

Bird rescue center asks the for help in saving endangered birds

San Pedro, CA

The bodies of seven endangered brown pelicans have been brought to a bird rescue center in San Pedro after being found near the Cabrillo pier.

“All have wounds that indicate they were shot and one also had both wings broken,” said Mark Russell, rehabilitation manager of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC). The California Brown Pelican is an endangered species, protected by both state and federal laws.” It is estimated that only about 5,000 breeding pairs remain. Russell is asking the public to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.

The center, which is a member of California's Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), has been deluged with birds in the past week. In addition to eight other brown pelicans that came in weak and emaciated, recent storms also brought injured cormorants, loons and other seabirds to shore. Some of the birds brought to the San Pedro Center were also oiled, most likely due to petroleum products washed from streets into the ocean after recent storms.

Animal cruelty is a felony in California. Violators of the Endangered Species Act are subject to fines of up to $100,000 and one year imprisonment. Organizations found in violation may be fined up to $200,000.

IBRRC is asking the public to call the law enforcement division of US Fish & Wildlife at 310-328-1516 and CALTIP at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP if they observe anyone harming pelicans or any other marine wildlife. Anyone finding injured or oiled waterfowl should call the center at 310-514-2573 for instructions.

IBRRC is located at the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care and Education Center, 3601 South Gaffey, San Pedro. Phone 310-514-2573 or 2574.

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Media contacts:

• Karen Benzel, International Bird Rescue Research Center, Karen@ibrrc.org

Office: (831) 622-7588



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