Oiled sea birds washed up on south coast to be released from Somerset RSPCA centre (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Oiled sea birds washed up on south coast to be released from Somerset RSPCA centre
6:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
SOME of the oiled sea birds cared for at the RSPCA centre in West Hatch will be released today (February 28).
More than 300 birds – mainly guillemots but some razorbills - were taken into RSPCA care at the end of January after being contaminated with Polyisobutylene (PIB) or butyl rubber, a colourless synthetic rubber.
They were washed up on south coast beaches between Cornwall and West Sussex.
Peter Venn, manager at West Hatch, said: “Our staff have done a fantastic job in cleaning and caring for these birds and now some of them are strong and fit enough to be released back to the wild where they belong.
“They arrived in quite a weak state and needed quite a bit of care and attention to get them rehydrated, fed and strong again before we could wash the sticky substance off them.”
The first birds covered in the oily substance were found on January 29 then numbers increased dramatically over the next few days.
The vast majority of the birds were found on beaches in Dorset - mainly Chesil Beach, near Portland and Weymouth.
There were some found further along the coast in Folkestone, one in Cornwall and a couple in the Isle of Wight. There have also been reports of birds found in Ostend covered in the same sticky goo.