Friday, March 4, 2011 at 1 p.m.
If only they could talk ...
Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
From the way the experts explain the nature of the injuries, it certainly appears there's a formulated attack on birds, mainly seagulls, going on in and around Huntington Beach.
The Wetland and Wildlife Care Center (WWCC) has tended to more than 20 seagulls and a brown pelican who've been brought to the center with similar injuries. Most of the California and western gulls that have been found injured have had the humerus bone on their right wings broken, with the skin ripped and bone exposed, according to Kelly Bevers, who's a wildlife technician with WWCC.
Based on the similarities of the injuries, which have been reported over the past two months, it seems more than a peculiar coincidence. Our guess is that someone has had their lunch stolen from their beach blanket one too many times or wasn't hugged enough as a child.
Right now WWCC and local authorities have no explanation for the repeated offenses on the birds, which are protected by both state and federal law. If it is found that an individual or group of people are intentionally inflicting the injuries on the birds, they could face prison time and/or a $15,000 fine per incident.
The best advice Bevers had for people who may witness an attack is to get photographic proof with a camera phone or whatever may be at their disposal, because it will be the only way to prosecute.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact WWCC at (714) 374-5587.