Pierre the Pelican is back, and he is far less terrifying than before (Video)

After "successful surgery" to repair a "broken beak" suffered during a recent mascots-only pickup game, first-year New Orleans Pelicans mascot Pierre the Pelican was back in the lineup on Wednesday, having shed the bandages and showcasing a brand new look that the franchise hoped wouldn't be quite so famously, utterly terrifying. The result ...

... seems like a mission accomplished.

Old pal J.E. Skeets provided a helpful side-by-side of Pierre's past and present:

And here's a side-by-side of Pierre and an actual pelican:

The new Pierre, a reboot several weeks (and countless tears) in the making, certainly seems softer than his predecessor. (This could be due, in part, to a changed-up coat that seems to have more in common with Moondog's fur than fowl feathers.) The Mohawk remains weird and somewhat senseless, but if that's the price we have to pay for significant improvements in eyes (less illegal-drug-dilated), beak (no longer deep red, sharp and evidently bloodthirsty) and tongue (no longer notable/prominently horrifying), then I suppose that's a worthwhile trade-off.

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If nothing else, this version of Pierre seems unlikely to abjectly terrify a young Pelicans fan. That is a plus if you are a young Pelicans fan, or someone who cares about one, but it's also something of a bummer for the rest of us. The NBA got a little bit less weird on Wednesday night, and that's a sad thing.

I'd like to imagine that old Pierre — the real Pierre — is still out there somewhere, sticking to the shadows, subsisting on carrion and waiting for his time to remind us all that, Q scores be damned, this bird you cannot change. And he reminds us of that by biting our faces off. Oh, well. A blogger can dream, I guess.

If you want to relive the entire saga, the Pelicans shared the footage of how Pierre busted his beak, as well as his grueling two-day road to recovery. If you were worried that it wouldn't be very, very creepy, fret not — it features a doctor using a hammer, a hacksaw and a chainsaw on Pierre's face, as well as the implication that Pelicans medical staff ignored league protocol in bringing Pierre back just two days after suffering a concussion, which is great:

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Dan Devine

is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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