Injured pelicans washing up on NC beaches again
Posted December 1, 2011
Jacksonville, N.C. — Officials say pelicans with injuries similar to those seen last winter are washing up on Onslow Beach and have been reported on another beach along the southeastern North Carolina coast.
Three pelicans with shattered wings were taken to Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary after washing ashore at Onslow Beach with shattered wings, sanctuary director Toni O'Neil told The Daily News of Jacksonville (http://bit.ly/rvkxrm). All three were otherwise healthy looking, but had to be euthanized, because that type of wing injury can't be healed.
Four more pelicans with similar injuries were brought to O'Neil last weekend and had to be euthanized.
A biologist said three pelicans with broken wings were found dead on North Topsail Beach within the last week. Grant said he found one pelican with a broken wing on Nov. 21 and two on Monday.
More than 200 dead or injured pelicans washed up along North Topsail Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Morehead City, Onslow Beach and Oak Island last November and December, sanctuary volunteers and officials said. O'Neil said pelicans with similar injuries were also found during the same months in 2009.
A state, federal and local task force concluded that the 2010 injuries were deliberately inflicted. No culprit has been named.
Pelicans are protected by federal law, which stipulates penalties for injuring them.