Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Fears for oil-slick birds off Dorset coast
11:00am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Bridport
The number of birds caught up in a slick may never be known, wildlife experts fear.
A rescue operation was launched after more than 100 seabirds appeared on Dorset beaches covered in a mystery substance.
People are being warned not to touch the affected creatures.
Wildlife officers and wardens from the RSPCA, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Portland Bird Observatory took the birds – a group of guillemots and razorbills – into care, which were found from Portland to Lyme Regis.
As the death toll this week reached 250 seabirds, the Environment Agency has identified the substance as a ‘refined mineral-based oil mixture’.
Concerns have been raised over the long-term impact on the marine environment as a whole.
If anyone spots an affected bird or animal, they should report it to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
The Hive Beach café in Burton Bradstock had an inkling of the impending disaster the day before the story broke nationally when two customers told them they had seen two gulls in trouble on the shoreline.
Café manager Caroline Richards said: “We rang the RSPB and the RSPCA to give them a heads up and get help. Obviously we try and do our best to help if we can but we had to leave it to the RSPCA. We haven’t had any more wash up since then.”
Local councillor Karl Wallace who joined the rescue effort at West Bexington with Mike Morse and Alan Bennett thanked all volunteers for their help.