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PENDER AND ONSLOW COUNTIES, NC (STARNEWSONLINE.COM) — Wildlife rescuers are finding more dead or injured pelicans in recent days, deepening a years-old mystery of who is harming the federally-protected animals.

“It's alarming the number of wounded birds we're seeing,” said Toni O'Neil, director of Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in Hubert.

Beginning in 2010, hundreds of dead and injured pelicans began washing up on the shores from Onslow Beach to Topsail Beach. The recent spike seems to be concentrated in Surf City and Topsail Beach, O'Neil said, adding it was disturbing and possible telling that so many dead or injured birds were being found in one area. 

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