IFAW ER Team helps wildlife at Estonia oil spill
“At present there are several small facilities caring for several hundred birds that have been rescued and we are now setting up a centralized main rehabilitation center in Keila, near Tallinn,” said Dr. Ian Robinson, the IFAW ER Team Manager. “The birds are suffering from dehydration and hypothermia because of the oil on their feathers. Once they are brought to the rehabilitation center they are give a medical check by a veterinarian, including blood tests. We then feed them fluids by tube and once they are strong enough they can go through a specialized washing process before being put into recovery tanks to regain their water-proofing. Hopefully once they are fully recovered we will release them back into the wild. Because the oil is trapped by the ice along the coastline it is extremely difficult to clean up and it could affect wildlife for some time to come.”
IFAW’s Emergency Relief team includes veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators from the US, UK, Germany, Belgium and Brazil. The team is working with the Estonian Fund for Nature and the Environment Ministry and local volunteers. The cause of the spill is under investigation.