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Man allegedly chokes pelican to death near Malibu Pier

California brown pelicans
A 30-year-old man was in custody Thursday after being arrested for allegedly choking a pelican to death in Malibu, authorities said.

Witnesses flagged down an L.A. County sheriff's deputy about 5:50 p.m. Wednesday near the Malibu Pier and said a man -- later identified as Sergio Alvarez -- had a pelican by its throat.

The witnesses said the pelican seemed to be flapping in distress until it went limp, deputies said.

The California Wildlife Center took the body of the dead pelican. Alvarez was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and was being held on $20,000 bail.

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-- Melissa Leu

Follow Melissa Leu on Twitter and Google+.

Photo: California brown pelicans fly over Rancho Palos Verdes in May. Credit: Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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