A YouTube video posted Monday by user AchromaticCosmos showing a man swinging his fishing rod at several pelicans on the Redondo Beach Pier is inciting anger among some anglers.
During the encounter, one of the pelicans swallows the man’s bait, and the hook—which was still attached to his rod and reel—gets stuck in the bird’s throat pouch. The man looks at his catch for several moments before dragging the helpless bird across the pier.
This whole incident could have been avoided if the man in question never started swinging his rod and bait in front of the hungry fowl. Fishermen have to remember that they have entered these creatures’ world—a world that needs to be revered and respected.
If a pelican is hooked, don’t cut the line—the bird might get tangled in the line, causing further injury or death.
Cover the bird’s head with a towel or blanket. This will calm the pelican, making it easier to remove the hook.
Locate the hook and push it through the pelican’s skin until you can clearly see the barb. Cut the barb off and back the rest of the hook out of the bird. If the barb is not removed, taking the hook out can cause major injury.
If the bird is not seriously wounded, release it immediately. If it is, or you don’t know what to do, contact your local humane society. South Bay locals can call the International Bird Rescue in Palos Verdes at 310-514-2573.
While waiting for help to arrive, keep try to get the bird in to a large box with a towel at the bottom and holes on the top. Keep the bird calm by putting the box in a dark, quiet place away from people.