Numerous young, thin and hungry pelicans have been found from Seal Beach to Newport Beach and transported to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, officials said on Friday.
Animal control officers are busy responding to calls from the public to help the birds, said a Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center news release.
It’s unclear why the birds are arriving sick, officials said.
There “seems to be plenty of bait fish available for them to eat,” said Greg Hickman, president of the board and center director in a statement. “My sonar picked up a large number of bait fish on my trip from Long Beach harbor to Newport Beach, and the fish were close to the surface.”
Sheila Eberly, a wildlife technician for the care center, added in a statement that “people are just finding them sitting on the beach too weak to fly away.”
The center is asking the public to call local animal control if they see a pelican so the animal can be transported to the center.
Volunteers and donations are needed at the center to help with the problem, officials said. To volunteer, attending classes is required.