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UPDATE: Pelican deaths not malicious

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Wildlife Resources Commission sent pelicans found on Topsail Beach to the University of Georgia for autopsies to determine their cause of death. Sara Schweitzer from the commission said although the results are not confirmed, early findings show the birds were not killed maliciously by people.

"We're trying to answer some of the questions people have as the injuries that were seen to the birds," Schweitzer said. "We have not been able to detect any evidence of shots, of bullets, and also there is some concern about breaking of bones, so we asked them to look at that closely, and they haven't been able to detect bone fragments which would be evident if someone had been hitting the birds."

Schweitzer said there are several explanations for the decimated pelicans. They may appear to look like they were killed intentionally, however, other sea creatures could have caused the damage after the pelican died. She hopes birds that were found that died in captivity may be tested so that they may rule out the damage done by scavenging animals.

Schweitzer said she hopes the continuing investigation, which will resume early next week, will provide more information.

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Birds

That is some good news. Alot of us have been very upset about these Pelicans. We are hoping for a follow up WWAY. Thank you so much Ms. Schweitzer.

Look closer

I find it hard to believe that a deceased, decapitated pelican lost its head to a rare, cold-water loving tiger shark who only prefers the head and bill, passing up the majority of the meat. I find it equally improbable that a propeller would decapitate a pelican that died of natural causes and not leave another mark on the carcass.

No forensic pathologist would list a cause of death without having the head to examine. It's an incomplete puzzle. I doubt the standards for a post-mortem on a pelican are that much looser.

The state and feds need to keep looking at this one. This is an unprecedented event that no one at the beach has seen before.

The pelican killings are not natural.

...and the explanation of the decapitated pelicans?
Also, why is this only happening in the Topsail area, if it were
due to natural causes it would be happening else where.
Don't let the killers off the hook, please.

after hearing this story for a couple month's

all i wanna know is when are they gonna fine or imprison the fox or squirrel that caused these atrocity's .

Injured Pelicans

Every time the local tv media reports on the injured and dead pelicans, they show video clips of shrimp and fishing boats which implies that these birds are victims of the fishing industry. Hopefully now the story will be reported with a little less bias and more common sense.