Authorities and bird officials are seeking the public’s assistance in a disturbing animal cruelty case that left a pelican succumbing to its injuries from multiple stab wounds reportedly inflicted by two male subjects.
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission officers received a call on March 8 of a severely wounded pelican on Tea Table Relief Bridge Islamorada. According to officers, two males reportedly stabbed the pelican multiple times, cutting the pouch and putting it over its head like a hood.
The pelican was taken to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Tavernier where it was humanely euthanized. Jordan Budnik, executive director, told the Weekly that the injuries were too severe to save the pelican.
“There were multiple stab wounds to the pouch, face, beak and skull. Several stabs were forceful enough to puncture the skull and one through the roof of the mouth and nasal cavity. This was deeply malicious behavior,” Budnik said. “We get animal cruelty cases every now and then, but this is one of the worst ones we’ve ever seen.”
Photos of the pelican’s injuries were released by the Wild Bird Center in hopes that someone comes forward to ID the two males who stabbed the pelican. FWC says nearby camera footage shows the two male subjects they’re looking to find. FWC has released images and surveillance video of the possible male subjects involved.
“We’re looking to find these two individuals to file felony charges for cruelty to the animal,” said Bobby Dube, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation officer.
Dube said there’s a possible cash reward for tips that lead to the arrest of the two males. Those with information into the case can call 888-404-FWC (3922).