A pelican found with a slashed throat pouch in Long Beach was released today in San Pedro after undergoing two surgeries and making a speedy recovery.
Pink, the California brown pelican named for the color of its leg band, healed quickly, according to wildlife officials.
"With such a severe animal cruelty case, it's wonderful that we were able to help this animal and that animal control was able to capture the bird and bring it into us so we could help it," Erika Lander, wildlife center manager at the International Bird Rescue, said following the pelicans final medical exam before release.
"Definitely without an intervention, the bird would have died," Lander said.
At White Point Park in San Pedro, Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino opened the cage to free the pelican. Pink quickly made his way out to the ocean to join other birds on a rock.
Julie Skoglund said seeing the release was very special.
"We knew he was ready," Skoglund said. "He's been flying back and forth in our aviary for weeks now ready to go."
A $7,500 reward has been offered to find the person responsible for slitting the pouch.
--City News Service