January 12, 2010
Reward Offered in North Carolina Pelican Cruelty Case
The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for breaking the wings of 10 brown pelicans in Brunswick County, N.C.
News reports give the following account: Between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31, 10 pelicans were found washed ashore on Bald Head Island, Oak Island, Holden Beach and Caswell Beach. The birds were suffering from broken wings. Some of the birds had drowned, and the rest had to be euthanized as a result of their injuries. In 2007, there was a similar string of pelican injuries in the same area.
"The infliction of such egregious cruelty on these birds is a serious crime," said Kimberley Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. "Clearly the person or persons responsible have a callous disregard for wildlife laws and the species they are intended to protect."
If caught, the individual or individuals face numerous violations of state and federal law. Maliciously maiming an animal is a felony in North Carolina. Pelicans are also protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission at 800-662-7137.
The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse and animal cruelty across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.
Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.