Posted: Jul 19, 2012 3:46 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
Updated: Jul 20, 2012 8:10 AM
Wildlife experts are facing a real mystery when it comes to the hundreds of dead and sick California Brown Pelicans showing up along the California coast.
Pacific Wildlife Rescue in Morro Bay says they're overwhelmed with the malnourished birds, and now the birds are looking to humans to fill their belly's.
They're sick and hungry and the more time they spend being hungry the less energy they have to find food so it's a very destructive cycle, and thats not all the experts are worried about.
"I saw them right on the sand near some rocks and there were a lot of tourists or beach goers who were around the pelican and he made effort to leave which i thought was rather extraordinary, because they've been pretty shy," said Bob Smirl of Cayucos.
According to Pacific Wildlife Rescue, that's happening more and more.
Sick California Brown Pelicans have been turning up in parking lots, beaches and residential neighborhoods far from their natural habitat over the last few weeks. Officials from Pacific Wildlife say their starving to death. That leaves the question should people be feeding them when they come up begging for food.
"It is very hard not to feed them," said Bonnie Mishelevich. "If it's a question of them dying or them being fed a little bit I guess I fall on the side of feeding them a little bit."
"My policy is been not to feed wildlife I had one bad occasion at Yosemite with a bear and that taught me the lesson," said Smirl.
It's a mystery to wildlife experts on what is causing so many of these birds to starve to death, but they are sure about one thing.
"When they're begging you can not feed them," said Jeanette Stone of Pacific Wildlife Rescue. "Its hard not to, with any animal our tendency is we love animals and we want to feed them, but its not good, it only promotes begging, and we're not sure what people are even feeding them."
Today we found a group of the pelicans huddled in a trash dumpster hoping to get their beaks on some leftovers.
Pacific Wildlife says everyday more and more are brought in to be nursed back to health, but many aren't so lucky.
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