Alabama Wildlife Center is pleased to announce that our AWC Oiled Wildlife Paraprofessionals team began an ongoing rotation today at the oiled wildlife rehab facility in Theodore, AL. The facility is managed by the two agencies contracted by BP to manage the oiled wildlife response – Tri-State & IBRRC. AWC will have a representative at the facility for as long as we can and for as long as we are needed.
We just heard from Lynn Brown, an AWC volunteer and member of the AWC oiled wildlife paraprofessional team. She arrived in Theodore, AL Saturday night. The staff starts their day at 7:00AM and they work until they are done. Today was a twelve-hour day.
Lynn reports that the facility currently has about 30 birds in their care - mostly Northern Gannets, and a few Terns, Gulls and a Loon. She says that most of the birds are arriving without oiled feathers, but instead have internal damage due to the ingestion of toxic substances like dispersants or fish and other food sources that have ingested or been coated in oil.
Most of Lynn’s day was spent caring for numerous Northern Gannets – feeding them, cleaning their enclosures and pools, moving them for treatment. She also spent a little time doing dishes. As with caring for children, most of the care of birds in rehab is spent in cleaning, food preparation, feeding, and cleaning up again.
An Osprey (one of the largest raptors in North America) arrived for treatment in a travel crate. The staff on hand, who are used to dealing primarily with water birds, were apprehensive about opening the crate and handling the bird of prey. Lynn, who has had quite a bit of experience handling raptors at AWC, quickly stepped forward and handled the bird. Go, Lynn!
Lynn shared that there was quite a bit of discussion about a very large oil slick growing closer to shore. While only time and the tides will tell, folks down there seemed quite concerned that the number of oil-affected birds arriving for treatment might soon be jumping much higher.
Our deep gratitude goes out to Lynn for her hard work and for being there to represent AWC and all the supporters that wish they could be there to help. We'll look forward to more info tomorrow!
If you’d like to support AWC’s efforts to help with the oiled wildlife response and to better prepare and increase our capacity to respond to all future wildlife emergencies in Alabama, you can
make a donation to our Wildlife Emergency Fund.