Warning: Be on the Look-Out for Drug-Crazed Pelicans
Four pelicans suspected of being drunk on sea algae were being tested at a Southern California wildlife center Saturday after one of them crashed headlong into a car.
Three of the California brown pelicans were found wandering dazed in the streets of Laguna Beach after another pelican struck a vehicle's windshield on a nearby coast road. It suffered internal injuries and a long gash in its pouch and was undergoing toxicology tests.
Officials at the Wildlife Care Center said the seabirds may have been under the influence of algae in the ocean that can produce domoic acid poisoning when eaten.
The other pelicans were rounded up after assistant wildlife director Lisa Birkle warned the public to be on the lookout for birds acting "drunk," disoriented or being in an unusual place.
Shellfish tainted with domoic acid was thought to be the culprit behind a 1961 attack of seabirds on people and cars in the oceanside California town of Capitola that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's horror movie "The Birds."