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DISGUSTING: Florida Fishing Guide Cited for Tying Pelicans’ Beaks Shut!

Note: The pelican pictured on the right has a line cinched around its bill, compared to the pelican behind it with a normal bill.


While conducting surveillance, Officers Stephen Wicker and Travis Basford witnessed a charter boat captain hold a pelican’s beak shut and wrap fishing line around it before letting the animal go. Moments later, they saw him do the exact same thing with another pelican, but this time, he tied a knot in the line before releasing the bird! Why? The captain and his clients were fishing when they hooked the pelicans that had tried to eat their bait. Apparently, he wanted to stop them from doing that. Luckily, the officers were able to catch one of the birds and get the line off. Though they weren’t able to help the second, they quickly learned that good Samaritans in another boat were able to free the bird’s beak so it wouldn’t starve to death. The captain was charged with two misdemeanors, animal cruelty and taking a species of special concern.

Unfortunately, we have encountered other, unrelated pelican incidents in Florida over the past few weeks. If you have information or suspect any crime against Florida’s natural resources, please alert us with your tips. Post here, private message, and call our Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC(3922) or text Tip@Myfwc.com.

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