BY: John Mamola

When the New Orleans Hornets decided to change their name to the very popular New Orleans Pelicans, there had to be a change at mascot too from "Hugo The Hornet" to "Pierre The Pelican."  Unfortunately for Pierre, he was a bit too scary for some little kids and the Pelicans received many complaints due to the look of their mascot.

So with a creative marketing campaign, the Pelicans have decided to change things up a bit with an "injury" to their despised mascot. 

According to the Pelicans' press release (yes, this is a serious press release).

(via New Orleans Pelicans Communications) - New Orleans Pelicans mascot, Pierre, suffered a broken beak on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Pelicans Practice Facility during a pickup game of basketball with fellow NBA mascots Grizz (Memphis Grizzlies), Rocky (Denver Nuggets) and Slamson (Sacramento Kings), as well as NFL mascot, Gumbo (New Orleans Saints).

The story of Pierre’s injury and recovery will air during halftime on Fox Sports New Orleans’ broadcast of the Pelicans’ match-up with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.

The injury occurred late in the pickup game as Pierre drove to the basket and was fouled by Grizz on the play. He sustained a broken beak after running into the padded stanchion on the goal.

Later today, Pierre will have surgery at Ochsner Medical Center to reconstruct the broken beak. Pelicans Team Physician Dr. Mathew McQueen will perform the surgery.

“This will be a rather unconventional surgery for us. I am not sure we have something to compare this to,” said McQueen. “It will be quite complicated and will require the use of some unconventional tools and instruments to reconstruct his beak.”

In order to ensure that Pierre receives the best care from the most experienced professionals, Carolyn Atherton, Curator of Birds for the Audubon Zoo, teamed up with McQueen to develop the best plan of treatment.

“We do see a lot of head trauma cases with pelicans. Since they are the plunge-divers, sometimes they’ll hit sharp objects and a lot of times, they’ll have tears in their pouch or even eye problems,” she said. “We’ve had quite a few pelicans we’ve treated for injuries similar to Pierre’s. After they’ve been treated, they’ve all come back looking bigger, stronger, faster and ready to take on the world.”

Fans can send get well wishes to Pierre using the hashtag #GetWellPierre and his Twitter handle @PierreTPelican. An update regarding Pierre’s condition will be released tomorrow, Feb. 11.

An update was given yesterday via the Pelican's twitter account.

 Can't wait to see the finished product.