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Diatribe: Do Not Eat The Pelicans.


I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the beach.  I’m not a typical sunbather … a lay out and read, sort of beachgoer … but more of a nature nerd when it comes to sea creatures, plants, etc.  Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate the plight of many endangered creatures including the manatee and sea turtles.  I’ve seen far too many birds with fishing line and six-pack plastics twisted around their legs and wings.  In fact, we’ve made it a practice at our house to cut any six-pack plastics that we use into small pieces so that seagulls or other birds that frequent landfills won’t get strangled by them.

Not everyone cares about the Brown Pelican.

Recently, a homeless California man was convicted of strangling a pelican to death near the Malibu Pier.  Initially, the man said that he found the bird already dead but later he, allegedly, admitted that he had killed the bird because he was hungry and had been unable to catch any fish.

Witnesses said that they saw the man with his hands around the pelican’s throat and that the bird was flapping its wings in distress before going completely limp.  The bird choker was arrested and booked into jail with bail set at $20,000, and later, after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, sentenced to sixty days in jail and one year’s probation.

It’s quite sad that someone could find themselves to be so hungry that they would grab at anything that passes their way just to survive.  There is a bit of outrage in the community because, while not endangered, brown pelicans are a protected species in California.  If he had choked a seagull or a pigeon no one would care.

So now he gets food and shelter for sixty days at taxpayers’ expense.  Is it just a matter of time before other itinerants learn that killing brown pelicans will keep them from being hungry for two months?

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Copyright © 2012

From → Diatribes

  1. Any kind of animal cruelty is sickening to me. This is no exception. If the guy truly was starving and down on his luck, I feel for him, but somehow I think there were plenty of other options besides killing a pelican. I hope, as you said, that this doesn’t lead to other people thinking, “Hey! That’s a good idea!”


  2. How could anyone support this kind of behavior?


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