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Slashed pelican recovers quickly, will be released

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A pelican found with its pouch slashed in Long Beach has made an “incredibly fast” recovery and can be released, a bird rescue organization said Monday.

Pink, a California brown pelican nicknamed for the color of the leg band it was given in captivity, was found wounded April 16 from an apparent attack. The pelican was handed over to International Bird Rescue for medical treatment that included two surgeries and about 600 stitches, said Dr. Rebecca Duerr, a veterinarian at the organization.

The organization plans to release Pink on Tuesday in a park near the Los Angeles harbor after a final medical evaluation.

“The bird is a flying, craving machine. He's ready to go,” Duerr said, calling the recovery “incredibly fast.”

To monitor the bird's movements in the wild, the group will attach a blue tag to Pink's leg and asks the public to post and track sightings through its website. The California brown pelican forages in an area spanning from Baja, Mexico, to British Columbia, Canada, Duerr said.

Donors have contributed $20,000 toward a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Pink's attacker.

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Online:

To report blue-banded pelican sightings: http://bit.ly/1wXgqtt

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