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BRADENTON, Fla. – More than a dozen mutilated pelicans have been found at a popular Florida fishing pier, prompting a plea from a rescue group devoted to the sea birds for heightened enforcement by state wildlife officials for an area becoming known as “pelican death row.”

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The Friends of the Pelicans group has found 16 mutilated birds since Jan. 9 at the fishing pier on the south side of the Skyway Bridge.

“It sure looks like somebody has cut a square right into the forehead of several of them,” Kim Begay, vice chair of the sea bird rescue group, told Spectrum Bay News 9.

Some of the birds were found as recently as last week. The group has been able to save all but one of them.

The group rescues nearly 35 pelicans daily at the fishing pier. They have rescued about 600 in the last two months. Most of the birds are tangled in fishing line or snagged with hooks.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it is investigating reports of pelicans being intentionally injured.

“We encourage the public to report these violations to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922,” Adam Brown, with the wildlife agency, said in an email. “Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.