Florida Pelicans were (maybe) poisoned

15 04 2010

Fort Pierce on the Atlantic coast; the scene of an apparent wildlife crime

Wildlife officials in Fort Pierce, FL suspect that 15 dead pelicans found in a pile at the Taylor Creek Spillway may have been deliberately poisoned. It is not clear if this theory is based on necropsy findings or other testing, but officials say the deaths were not natural.

There was no evidence of gunshot or other trauma on the birds, and it is unclear whether the birds died together at the site or were transported from another location and dumped. All of the birds appear to have been dead up to a few days.

The SEANET blogger, for her part, is troubled by the discovery of so many dead pelicans all together, but questions the basis for the poisoning theory. Absent any necropsy results or other testing, it sounds like pure speculation at this point. In a previous post on this blog, a pile of dead pelicans in Alabama had succumbed to a severe cold snap and died huddled together. Certainly, it has not been quite that cold in Florida in the past days, but the SEANET blogger only wishes to point out that there is more than one way for a pile of dead pelicans to appear.

State officials are hoping someone out there might have seen something or have some explanation for the pelicans’ deaths. They ask that anyone with information call the State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Their number is 888-404-FWCC. They report that there may be a reward.

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