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Transient Pleads No Contest To Choking Pelican In Malibu

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Sergio Alvarez is suspected of choking a pelican to death. (credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

Sergio Alvarez is suspected of choking a pelican to death. (credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A transient pleaded no contest to misdemeanor animal cruelty for choking a brown pelican to death near Malibu Pier.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office says 30-year-old Sergio Diaz was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail and a year’s probation.

Alvarez was arrested Aug. 22 when a witness reported the choking to a sheriff’s deputy.

According to prosecutors, Alvarez said he failed to catch any fish so he caught the bird to eat.

California Brown pelicans are no longer endangered but are still a fully protected species in the state.

The state Department of Fish and Game noted earlier this summer that many pelicans are showing up on beaches and fishing piers and urged people to avoid feeding them so they don’t become habituated to humans.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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