Oiled wildlife being rehabilitated - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Oiled wildlife being rehabilitated

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

PORT ARTHUR, TX (KPLC) - The U.S. Coast Guard is overseeing the rehabilitation of a handful of birds that have been oiled since the spill in the Port Arthur Ship Channel.  At last count five birds were being rehabilitated, which includes washing with detergent and then kept under the watchful eye of rehab experts.

Black oil laps at the bank along the waterway where crews use special equipment and booms to try to collect and contain what remains of the spill.  Birds and wildlife seem to have followed their instincts and gotten away from the area where 462,000 gallons of crude oil spilled after a collision between two vessels.  At last word six birds had been oiled, two of which died.  The others have been washed and cleaned at a rehabilitation site in Port Arthur.  Says Rhonda Murgatroyd with Wildlife Response Services LLC, "We have to remove the oil from the bird.  The oil impedes the insulating abilities of their feathers and so you have to get the oil off of the features but you also have to get the detergent off of the feathers, so it's a very delicate process.  You don't want to disrupt the feather structure.  You have to agitate the water instead of rubbing the feathers."

Anyone who spots an oiled bird or other wildlife should leave it to the experts.  Don't try to rescue it yourself.  They know what to do to increase the creature's chance of survival.  Says Murgatroyd, "We ask them to not touch the bird.  Don't attempt to capture the bird.  It will stress the bird and they can inflict damage to a person."

  Richard Arnhart with Texas General Land Office agrees.  "As with any wild animal they can be dangerous and they can peck you, they can hurt you and plus you want to recover them properly.  You don't want to hurt the bird any more than it's already been stressed."

With the extent of the spill damage to wildlife could have been much worse.  Oil recovery vessels, skimmers and boats putting out boom continue their work.  More than nine hundred people are responding to the spill which has affected about nine miles of shoreline.  To report oiled wildlife call 1-888-709-9798. 

The company determined to be responsible for the spill will pay the cost of cleanup and wildlife rehabilitation.  The responsible party has not yet been identified by government officials.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: Campout for a Cause

    WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: Campout for a Cause

    Monday, November 20 2017 5:36 AM EST2017-11-20 10:36:59 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Britney Glaser with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise. 

    More >>

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Britney Glaser with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise. 

    More >>
  • ‘Camp Out for a Cause’ helping feed local needy families

    ‘Camp Out for a Cause’ helping feed local needy families

    Monday, November 20 2017 5:26 AM EST2017-11-20 10:26:35 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away and one DJ at KIX-96 is gearing up for his annual Campout for a Cause benefiting Abraham’s Tent food pantry. Radio DJ Chad Austin is pitching his tent in front of Ashley Homestore located at 3625 Gerstner Memorial Blvd in Lake Charles starting today, November 20 lasting until noon Wednesday, November 22. Those who would like to donate can stop by day and night to drop off canned and dry goods along frozen meats items such as turkeys, ha...More >>
    Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away and one DJ at KIX-96 is gearing up for his annual Campout for a Cause benefiting Abraham’s Tent food pantry. Radio DJ Chad Austin is pitching his tent in front of Ashley Homestore located at 3625 Gerstner Memorial Blvd in Lake Charles starting today, November 20 lasting until noon Wednesday, November 22. Those who would like to donate can stop by day and night to drop off canned and dry goods along frozen meats items such as turkeys, ha...More >>
  • Food for Seniors program feeds hundreds

    Food for Seniors program feeds hundreds

    Sunday, November 19 2017 10:16 PM EST2017-11-20 03:16:08 GMT

    Eliminating hunger for thousands of our senior citizens and keeping their minds at ease-- that's the mission of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Food for Seniors service. Every third Friday of the month, senior residents of Calcasieu parish can sign up to receive a box of food, but it's a lot more than that. “A lot of people if they didn't have this they couldn't make it and I know some of them wouldn't have anything to eat,” said Betty Landry a recipient of the Food ...

    More >>

    Eliminating hunger for thousands of our senior citizens and keeping their minds at ease-- that's the mission of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Food for Seniors service. Every third Friday of the month, senior residents of Calcasieu parish can sign up to receive a box of food, but it's a lot more than that. “A lot of people if they didn't have this they couldn't make it and I know some of them wouldn't have anything to eat,” said Betty Landry a recipient of the Food ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly