A California man was sentenced to community service Wednesday after he admitted to stomping a pelican that tried to steal a fish he had caught, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Daniel Richard Moreno, 20, of Perris, Calif., was reportedly fishing off the Newport Pier in March when the pelican tried to nab his catch. Moreno stomped on the bird's neck, giving the animal a hairline fracture, the newspaper reports.

Moreno pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges on Tuesday, giving him the option to spend the rest of his sentence picking up trash on the side of a freeway -- instead of behind bars.

Animal experts told the newspaper that Moreno could have killed the protected species which dives beak-first into water.

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