By Team

BRADENTON (CBSMiami/AP) — More than a dozen mutilated pelicans have been found in the last month at a popular fishing pier in Manatee County.

“It sure looks like somebody has cut a square right into the forehead of several of them,” said Kim Begay, vice-chair of Friends of the Pelicans.

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Since January 9th, the rescue group says a total of 16 disfigured pelicans have been found at the fishing pier on the Manatee County side of the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Some of the mutilated birds were discovered as recently as last week.

Begay said the pelican rescue group has managed to save all but one of the wounded pelicans.

“We are asking that the state park system increase patrols, have somebody stationed at the end of the pier” — particularly at night, Begay said, when “there’s literally no oversight out here.”

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Some have dubbed the South Skyway Fishing Pier as “pelican death row.”

The group typically rescues between 25 to 35 pelicans every day at the fishing pier. In the past two months, it has rescued a total of 600 pelicans. Most of those birds were tangled in fishing lines or snagged with hooks.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Senior Officer Adam Brown said they are currently investigating reports of pelicans being intentionally injured at the pier.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team