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Hundreds of rescued pelicans undergo care in California

Starving Pelicans
Posted at 9:52 AM, Jun 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-25 12:56:24-04

Nearly 700 sick California brown pelicans have been taken to wildlife rehabilitation centers on the Central Coast and in Southern California since mid-May, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Officials say the pelicans were emaciated and some had additional injuries.

More than 130 of the rescued pelicans have been rehabilitated and released. More are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Wildlife officials say necropsies on some of the pelicans that died found that they were emaciated but no diseases or toxins were present.

Officials say the cause of this mass stranding event was determined to be starvation.

What led to the starvation is still under investigation. However, it's believed especially windy weather in late April and early May interfered with the birds' ability to fish. Officials add that the pelican population has been increasing in recent years and that could lead to more competition for food resources.

If you come across a dead bird, you can report it on the CDFW website. If you find a bird that is still alive but appears to be sick or struggling, you're encouraged to contact your nearest wildlife rehabilitation center.