INVESTIGATORS INTERVIEW PERSONS OF INTEREST IN PELICAN STABBING

An investigation into a deadly pelican stabbing in Islamorada is ongoing as investigators have zeroed in on two persons of interest.

Leads and information have flowed into the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation office and Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center following the release of video footage, which shows two male subjects believed to be behind the attack. No charges have been filed yet and names haven’t been released, but Bobby Dube, FWC public information officer, said they have zeroed in on the two males seen in the footage. 

“They have been interviewed by investigators. We’re waiting for them to piece the whole investigation together,” Dube said. “We got some great leads. All of them led to these two individuals.” 

On March 8, FWC officers were called to Tea Table Relief Bridge for the report of a wounded brown pelican stabbed multiple times. According to officers, the pelican suffered a number of stab wounds — its pouch cut severely and placed over its head like a hood. 

Injuries sustained in the gruesome stabbing were too severe to save the pelican. According to Jordan Budnik, Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center executive director, stab wounds were forceful enough to puncture the skull and the roof of the mouth and nasal cavity. 

Photos of the pelican’s injuries were released by the wild bird center to the Keys Weekly in hopes that someone would come forward and provide information leading to the arrest of the attackers. 

“People have been coming forward with names, and we’ve been passing it onto FWC,” Budnik said. “We’ve also had people reaching out to check on us and donate to the reward fund. It lets us know people are stepping up to resolve issues of animal cruelty.” 

A reward fund established by the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center has generated more than $7,000.

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Jim McCarthy believes in community reporting, giving back and life on the water. A workout fanatic, diver and a bogey-golfer, Jim loves chicken wings, Marvel movies and sports.