More than a dozen brown pelicans have been found with their pouches slashed during the past few weeks in Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key and the Lower Keys, Florida.

“It’s a mystery. I don’t know why people are doing this,” said director of Florida Keys Wildlife Rescue Maya Totman.

The first pelican with its pouch slashed was seen around 5, 6 months ago in Summerland Key while trying to eat fish that kept falling out of its mouth. The attacks then stopped for a while but since last month the number of pelicans injured has risen.

Brown pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating together with the Florida Keys Wildlife Rescue to find those responsible.

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