A transient who choked a brown pelican to death last month near the Malibu Pier pleaded no contest today to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Jessica Silvers ordered Sergio Alvarez, 30, to serve 60 days in LA County Jail and one year of probation, according to Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth.
Alvarez was arrested Aug. 22, after a sheriff's deputy was flagged down near the pier and was informed that a man was choking a pelican.
The pelican "flapped its wings in distress until its body went limp and died,'' said sheriff's Lt. Robert Wiard of the Malibu/Lost Hills sheriff's station. Alvarez said he had failed to catch any fish, so he caught the bird to eat it, according to the District Attorney's Office.
"He said he was hungry. And he found the bird dead and was going to eat it,'' sheriff's Sgt. Michael Holland, a watch commander at the Malibu/Lost Hills station said last month.
Personnel from the California Wildlife Center took possession of the brown pelican, a species protected under California law.