Months ago, a pelican was spotted in Irvine tangled in fishing line, hooks and a lure. Rescuers said the bird was wrapped like a pretzel as they worked for days to free and treat her.
This week, after surgeries to rebuild her beak and mend fractures, Nigel the pelican — or Nigelina, as some began calling the bird after he was discovered to be a female — was released into the wild.
FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version incorrectly identified Nigel, or Nigelina to some, as a male pelican. The bird was discovered to be a female when she was released Wednesday.
In April, rescuers found Nigel, an American white pelican, near the Sea and Sage Audubon House in Irvine with a 6-inch fishing hook and lure attached to her lower bill.
Her head and right wing were entangled in fishing line.
They removed the fishing tackle, but the bird’s fractured lower bill was curved downward to the right, making it impossible for her to feed herself, according to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach. The nonprofit organization tended to Nigel during her convalescence.