Pelicans mascot will soon have new look after ‘surgery’

New Orleans Pelicans mascot Pierre the Pelican

Derick E. Hingle/Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport


The New Orleans Pelicans franchise underwent a complete makeover when the team dropped their former "Hornets" identity and adopted the state bird and new team colors of red, navy and gold.

While many local fans have now embraced the idea of a pelican as a mascot, symbolizing Louisiana’s battle with coastal erosion, the face of the actual mascot has been a contentious subject. The public never warmed to Pierre’s red beak or bright rooster-like comb.

It appears Pierre the Pelican is now getting an overhaul.

Monday night the team reported via its website that while  the team was in New York and Toronto, Pierre suffered a broken beak and concussion back in New Orleans during a pickup game of basketball with fellow mascots gearing up for the upcoming All Star festivities.

Those sources reported the team physician Dr. Matthew McQueen would operate on Pierre immediately to reconstruct the broken beak, but that it would be an "unconventional" and "complicated" surgery.  

Fans should expect a speedy recovery, but Pierre will likely look very different on the other side of surgery. It may be an even better look than what Pierre started out with, according to those close to the situation.

While reconstructive avian surgery may be an anomaly, it appears the recovery time is exceptionally  short. The team expects to update Pierre’s condition Tuesday, February 11 and possibly give fans a look at the results of his surgery during the Pelicans 7:00 pm matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday on Fox Sports New Orleans.