A federal agency is investigating the killings of dozens of pelicans along the North Carolina coast.
Stacy Shelton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the agency began its investigation last year, after a similar but smaller rash of pelican deaths.
Since November, volunteers and investigators have found about 150 deliberately killed birds, mostly in North Topsail Beach. The recent deaths have prompted the agency to renew its investigation.
Shelton says the wildlife service will hold a meeting with other agencies investigating the killings in early January.
Birds have been slashed, bludgeoned and even shot. Harming the animals is a violation of state and federal law.