Monday, May 10, 2010

Gulf Coast Wildlife Deaths Panic Residents

Gulf Coast Wildlife Deaths Panic Residents
by James Chrisfields
May 8, 2010

There’s not a lot of reporting on the toll the oil slick and chemical dispersals are having on Gulf Coast wildlife. Things die in the Gulf and wash up on shore all the time, but residents are being extra vigilant and reports of dead and dying wildlife are coming in.

A Pteropod, also known as the sea butterfly, a constituent in Gulf plankton, is washing up in unusual amounts on panhandle beaches and scaring local residents. Beach Safety Division Chief, Tracey Vause, charged with investigating the many reports of this substance, commented on rumors that the plankton was fiberglass from oil dispersant methods being deployed,

“I’ve been trying to put that cat back in the bag all day,” Vause said. “We can say for sure that they’re not fiberglass from booms that are out of the Gulf of Mexico, they’re little plankton animals.” from NWF Daily News

While it’s still not clear whether deaths of larger marine animals like this shark found by Tonya Torres on a beach in Bay Minette, AL are caused by oil and oil cleaning methods those found in Louisiana and Mississippi floating in pools of toxic sludge are undeniable.

On social networking sites related to the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster there are many reports of dead otters, pelicans, man-o-war, sharks and fish all along the eastern edge of the slick. The news coverage has been scant on the deaths of these animals and official reports on numbers of either rescued or dead animals have not been release to verify these claims.

If you see an animal that looks like it is in trouble, contact a wildlife rescuer. If you touch the animal, you can get hurt or even hurt the animal. If you live in the Gulf of Mexico, and you see wildlife in trouble, the main Gulf oil spill rescue hotline is 1-866-557-1401.

Alabama Gulf Shores Zoo

Audubon Society

Sierra Club

Save Our Shores Foundation

Help Save the Gulf Shores

Oiled Wildlife Rescue Volunteers

There’s a lot more out there, just ask me!

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