By Donna Littlejohn, The Daily Breeze
POSTED: 06/03/14, 3:45 PM PDT | UPDATED: 8 HRS AGO
Once near death from one of the worst bird cruelty cases some rehab workers had seen, Pink the pelican wasted no time Tuesday when his cage door was opened on the rocky San Pedro coastline.
Pink the pelican takes flight in San Pedro on Tuesday,
June 3, 2014. The International Bird Rescue center
repaired the bird’s slashed pouch in a series of
surgeries. (Photo by Brad Graverson/Torrance
Taking a few steps, his wings quickly spanned out as he took to the blue sky. He soared gracefully over the ocean as onlookers applauded, landing to perch on a rocky jetty just offshore with a flock of other birds.
Those who repaired the damage had wondered if they’d ever see this day after Pink — named for the band color they put on him — was brought in on April 16.
“He’s a very tenacious bird,” said Andrew Harmon of the International Bird Rescue Center in San Pedro, where the California brown pelican underwent two surgeries and required more than 600 stitches to repair his pouch that someone sliced open. A $20,000 reward remains outstanding in the case.