Nearly a dozen injured pelicans found in Brunswick County - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Nearly a dozen injured pelicans found in Brunswick County

Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Several pelicans with broken wings have turned up along the shore in Brunswick County.

Mary Ellen Rogers operates a small wildlife shelter in Oak Island and is known to take in pelicans and nurse them back to health.

December 17, someone brought a pelican with a severely broken wing to Rogers for help.  Over the next two weeks, a total of 11 birds were taken to the wildlife shelter.

"By the time I got to the third one, I was in tears," said Rogers.  "Who would be so cruel as to break the wings on a harmless pelican? I can't imagine what the rationale would be."

Rogers suspects someone is getting frustrated with the birds, which can sometimes get caught in fishing nets, and are breaking their wings to "teach them a lesson."

"We're all in tears," said Rogers.  "I've had volunteers call me saying what is going on. This is just a horrible thing, and I don't know how it's going to end. I just want it to end."

Rogers said the pelicans' wings were all broken in the same manner - they appear to be crushed over someone's knee or the side of a boat.  Since the wings are broken so severely, she says they will never heal and need to be euthanized.

Rogers tried to make the pelicans as comfortable as possible before she took them to a local veterinarian, who volunteered to put the birds down.

According to Rogers, a similar instance happened a few years ago where pelicans would turn up with broken wings.  She believes the situations could be related.

Anyone with information on who is breaking the pelicans' wings is asked to contact the police or a wildlife officer.

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