DVMs help birds caught in oil spill

DVMs help birds caught in oil spill

Dec 01, 2007
By dvm360.com staff

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Bay's worst oil spill in nearly two decades claimed the lives of at least 100 birds. Veterinarians and staff at a local wildlife center are treating hundreds more.

After striking the Bay Bridge on Nov. 7, a container ship leaked 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into the bay, closing nearly two dozen beaches across miles of coastline. Actions of crew members are under investigation.

The San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife and Education Center in Cordelia is caring for birds. With a capacity of 1,500 birds, the center uses technicians and trained volunteers to help stabilize, clean and rehabilitate the birds. The one-hour cleansing process involves a mild dish soap and rinsing with up to 12 tubs of water to ensure the birds are thoroughly cleansed. Birds then may take up to three weeks to be fully rehabilitated, says Greg Massey, response veterinarian with the Wildlife Care Network.

Anyone who sees a distressed bird should call the center at (415) 701-2311. Within San Francisco city limits, simply call 311.