Local News

Injured pelicans washing up on NC beaches again

Posted December 1, 2011

— 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.


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  • fayncmike Dec 1, 2011

    As I asked earlier, is pelican good to eat?

  • See Chart Dec 1, 2011

    If this is someone deliberately doing harm to these
    beautiful birds ,they need psychiatric help,fast.

  • rlwieland Dec 1, 2011

    Starting to sounds like something going on with nature. I know we were fishing outside of New River Inlet last weekend and peilicans were all around us in the water. Maybe blues or something attacking them. If people i hope they shatter their faces if caught.

  • The Fox Dec 1, 2011

    [Probably commercial fishermen with their darn nets.]I dunno. I watch the trawlers going by all the time at Topsail. The nets run deep not at the surface. Usually it's all gulls swarming around the boat anyway. The pelicans usually lite or dive in the water after the boat has gone by.

  • rescuefan Dec 1, 2011

    "There are only 3 pelicans that they are talking about. Not hundreds as were found in earlier years. They should wait to incite panic over it until there is a reason to panic.

    First of all, it's 10, not 3. Second of all, who's inciting panic? It's a news story. No need to be overly dramatic.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 1, 2011

    It's the blues along with those sharks. Then things will run some pretty big drums right up on the beach at times.

  • fatchanceimwrong Dec 1, 2011

    There are only 3 pelicans that they are talking about. Not hundreds as were found in earlier years. They should wait to incite panic over it until there is a reason to panic.

  • luv2surffish2 Dec 1, 2011

    they need to chek out the omega fleets that are pillaging the menhaden schools to satisfy the cosmetic/dog food business...

  • Scubagirl Dec 1, 2011

    the nets do make sense in a way as the pelicans will dive into the fish not knowing they are in a net. And this is the time of year fish are running more.
    I'm not sure how that many could otherwise have broken wings.

  • patrick85ed Dec 1, 2011

    Probably commercial fishermen with their darn nets.