Biologists from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries responded to 60 calls reporting oiled birds in and around Grand Isle Thursday June 3, resulting in the successful location and capture of 35 brown pelicans and 15 gulls. One pelican, dubbed the "Governor's bird," was discovered by Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff as he toured the area.
Other rescue teams retrieved 10 additional oiled birds Thursday, including pelicans and a tern. All of the birds were collected from areas in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact zone.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said "I am pleased that we were able to rescue so many birds, including our state bird, the brown pelican. But I'm afraid that our work has just started."
Found throughout the affected portions of Louisiana, 324 birds have been processed through the wildlife rehabilitation triage center set up at Fort Jackson in Buras. Nearly 200 birds were dead before their arrival at the center. Twenty-four birds have been treated and released.
Oil-spill responders have discovered 278 sea turtles in the five-state impact area, 68 of which were found in Louisiana. Three of the Louisiana turtles were observed covered in oil and brought to the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program facility in New Orleans.
Of 31 dolphins reported dead in the impact area, 20 were discovered in Louisiana. The cause of death is still pending in all cases.
"Wildlife is both our business and our passion," said Barham. "Each and every animal is important to us and we will do everything possible to give them a fighting chance."
For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 765-5115.