Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

June 4, 2014

Release! Pink the Pelican


L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino releases Pink. Photos and video by Bill Steinkamp and Kira Perov (volume adjustment on lower right of video control panel)

Pink, a California Brown Pelican and now arguably one of the most famous patients in International Bird Rescue history, was successfully released on Tuesday afternoon at White Point Park in San Pedro, CA, by L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino, assisted by a lovely young girl excited to see the bird off on its next adventures.

As you may have read, less than seven weeks ago this animal was brought to our Los Angeles center with its throat pouch nearly severed off its bill. A human-caused injury, the incident sparked outrage among animal lovers in Southern California and beyond. A $20,000 reward is still being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this illegal act. Tips may be made anonymous to US Fish and Wildlife Service at 310-328-1516.

Thank you to everyone who helped support the care of this bird, including the Port of Long Beach, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, Terranea Resort and countless bird lovers in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the country.

After two surgeries and weeks in care, this pelican made a record recovery and was very eager for release from our large pelican aviary. As part of our Blue-Banded Pelican Program, we banded Pink with a blue band reading V70. If you see Pink out along the Pacific Coast, you can report your sighting here.

Releases are always powerful experiences that cut through the madness of modern life. International Bird Rescue’s “Every Bird Matters” mantra was definitely the theme of the day. Photographer Bill Steinkamp was on hand to take some wonderful photos of the event. Enjoy!

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One Response to “Release! Pink the Pelican”

  1. Doug Noyce Says:

    Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in saving this tortured creature, those who have posted rewards for the capture and punishment of his tormentor (a fitting penalty IMHO, would be to attach his esophagus to his anal sphincter, so his food cannot get into his body- let the punishment fit the crime!)
    Or just take him out to the Channel Islands and feed him to a Great White! I realize that ‘revenge’ is not ‘justice’, but this kind of gene pool should be abated before it continues to proliferate.

    Thanks again to the heroes, who take every life seriously. I am sure that “Pink” is very aware of what happened to him, and who fixed him, and gave him back to life and the world.

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress, can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Gandhi

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