Dr. Elizabeth Wood/AP
A California wildlife organization is asking for help after over 30 brown pelicans were found with "very serious injuries."
The Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach wrote in a statement on Wednesday that "someone is intentionally breaking Brown Pelican's wings."
They said around 32 pelicans have been "mutilated" between San Clemente and Huntington Beach in recent months, with 22 birds suffering compound fractures to their wings. "A compound fracture (also known as an "open fracture") is a broken bone that is accompanied by breaks in the skin, causing the broken ends of the bone to come into contact with the outside environment," they explained.
The cost of surgery and care for each bird will cost thousands of dollars, according to the group.
"These are very serious injuries that require emergency surgeries and long term care," added veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Wood.
"It was just wrong on every level," Debbie Wayns, the nonprofit's operations manager, told The New York Times. "There was no question that a person or persons did this."
Of the 32 brown pelicans that the team have treated since March, only 10 have survived due to the "extensive injuries that have been brought to them," Wayns said.
The Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center is offering a $500 reward for information, according to CNN.
Patrick Foy, public information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told CNN on Thursday that the tip line had not yet received any calls. "No suspects, no motive and no evidence other than the injured pelicans," he said.