Birds Find Refuge After Gulf Oil Spill
When the door to the portable dog carrier opened, the two very special occupants inside didn’t hesitate. They flew about one hundred yards and landed in the water. The two Brown Pelicans then took to the air to search for food. They are survivors of the Gulf oil spill and were among the eleven birds released in Florida this past weekend.
Six Brown Pelicans, four Laughing Gulls and one Common Tern now have a new home at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Sanctuary on the east coast of Florida. The refuge is about 35 miles in length and has about 140,000 acres of habitat.
“Most of our wetlands aren’t connected to the ocean so they are somewhat protected from the oil spill,” said the Sanctuary’s Supervisory Ranger, Dorn Whitmore.
Oil has been pouring into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20, when a drilling rig operated by British Petroleum exploded, killing eleven workers.
Since that time, Fish and Wildlife Service veterinarian Dr. Sharon Taylor has been in Louisiana coordinating efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and eventually release victims of the oil spill.
She accompanied the birds to Merritt Island aboard a Coast Guard plane and says Florida is a perfect choice for the birds.
“If they could stop the flow and we had more of a contained situation we would leave the birds in the Gulf Coast of Louisiana,” Taylor said. “But, since we can’t do that with the trajectories of the oil going everywhere, we try to stay in the same line where the birds are,” she said.
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5 years ago
This never should have happened. Big companies are so busy making money they don't care about safety features. The men that were killed in the "accident" and the animal lives that are affected, and the human jobs that are gone - this is too much! We need to learn from this.
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