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Calif. pelican released after beak surgery, rehab

Posted: August 17, 2012 10:00 a.m.
Updated: August 17, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Nigelina, an American White pelican, is released on Wednesday back into the San Joaquin Marsh Reserve from where it was rescued April 30, in Irvine, Calif.

 

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — A pelican found tangled in fishing line with a 6-inch hook lodged in its lower bill has been released back into the wild after surgeries and months of rehabilitation in Southern California.

The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/NqBnVM ) that Nigel, an American white pelican, underwent a first-of-its-kind procedure to straighten out the fractured beak.

The newspaper says the bird's recovery took months because it developed an infection, which led to another fracture and caused bone tissue to die.

Nigel ate 8 to10 pounds of fish each day as it was nursed back to health at the nonprofit Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.

The bird was outfitted with a tracking device before being released Wednesday at the Irvine marsh where he was discovered last April.

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