Another Wave of Pelican Deaths Hits the Coast

Dec 12, 2011

Injured pelican
Credit Toni O'Neil

Dead and injured pelicans are washing up on North Carolina shores. Around 20 dead birds were found on North Topsail Beach earlier this month. Many had severely broken wings.

The exact causes of these injuries are unknown. Some speculate a connection to commercial fishing boat activity. Toni O'Neil is the director of Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary.

Toni O'Neil: "We've been trying to track the progress of where boats are out at sea cause that's where we feel that the damages are occurring, and then trying to figure out where the injured or dead and dying birds will show up on the beaches based on which way the tides go and which way the currents bring things in."

Last winter more than 200 dead pelicans were found along the North Carolina coast. Autopsy results on those birds did not suggest that foul play was responsible.