Two sick pelicans crashed in the middle of a college graduation at Pepperdine University on April 28. Theyve shown up sick and stumbling around airport runways at LAX and on city streets.
The International Bird Rescue Los Angeles wildlife center in San Pedro sent out an alert on Thursday after a spike in sick and dying Brown Pelicans coming into their care this week. As of Thursday, the count is at 30, a number that doubled in just a few days.
The pelicans are showing signs of emaciation, hypothermia and anemia.
According to the center, its not unusual to see an uptick in hospitalized pelicans this time of year. But those birds are usually new fledglings coming to shore searching for food.
The sick birds brought into the care of the rescue center are older, in their second year.
Officials said they are not sure what is causing the illness yet, but that in 2008, and again in 2011, there was a similar “pelican crash.”
It may be related to climate cycles such as El Niño or La Niña, and movement or lack of pelicans preferred fish stocks, said Russ Curtis, Online Communications and Technology Manager for the center.
The Bird Rescue center is asking for donations to help care for the birds. Anyone who spots a sick pelican should call their local animal control or contact the center at 310-514-2573.
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