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Neighbors Surprised By Pelican Shooting

LECLAIRE, IA (AP) -- Some LeClaire residents are expressing surprise at a police sergeant's decision to shoot and kill a pelican they had named Wilbur.

The Quad-City Times reports the sergeant killed the bird July 17 after the Department of Natural Resources asked that LeClaire police check out reports the bird was diseased and aggressive.

On Wednesday, LeClaire Police Chief Shane Themas said police had no choice but to kill the bird.

Mike Hall, who owns a marina, says customers complained Wilbur was chasing them. He added that the bird looked sick.

Residents say the bird had physical problems but was harmless and loved to be around people. Some say they fed the bird shrimp.

DNR conservation officer Jeff Harrison says people shouldn't feed animals, and doing so ultimately hurts them.

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