If you have been reading and watching the horrific oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as I have, the first thing that comes to mind is the threat to wildlife in the environmentally sensitive areas.
Tri-State Bird Rescue is the lead organization to help the rehabilitation of the affected seabirds along with International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC). Although BP is vowing to pay for the cost of the rehabilitation of these oiled birds, one can’t help but to see the stresses that these animals might go through, being oiled and then, to be manhandled and cleaned. Here are a few videos on how these oiled birds get cleaned.
You might find out some some surprises in the videos so play them in full.
What? Dawn detergent works best for oiled bird??? But Dawn is made of petroleum! And I know detergents work because they attract and binds to oil, away from the objects but why can’t they use plant based non-toxic detergents. Wouldn’t they be safer? I thought that too. I love my non-toxic, phosphate free, plant based dishwashing liquid and dishwasher detergents and they work great on regular kitchen oil (mostly olive oil in my household). But then, I thought, may be they aren’t strong enough of a detergent to get rid of the crude oil from fine feathers quickly? It’s just my guess. May be this is an area where companies like Seventh Generation, Ecolever, Ecos, and alike can research to come up with products that will work on oiled slicked birds because, the way I see it, as pessimistic as this might sound, oil spill like this, will happen again in my lifetime. And it will be great to have detergents that can get oiled birds out of misery without using *petroleum* based detergents like Dawn.
Washing a large bird like a pelican can take up to 300 gallons of hot water and up to 45 minutes!! That’s a lot of energy to rescue just one bird. And if you have over 100 birds??? Another environmental disaster in itself just because of a stupid oil spill. I can’t say the “other” word I was thinking of here but you get my drift. And all this could have been avoided if there was no oil spill.
The “toxic” soap is then, washed away with hot water – 104 〫F – internal body temperature of the birds.
So to recap how oiled bird gets de-oiled…… “toxic” soap is used to get rid of the “toxic” oil from the bird, and then hot water is used to get rid of the “toxic” soap from the bird.
This is insanely stupid. What a great VIP treatment the bird gets – the innocent victim of oil companies’ greed.
But you know what? This is not BP’s fault. It’s our fault. More on that later.
If you want to stay informed of the progress in the Gulf’s oil spill, you can check the Deepwater Horizon Response – official site for Deepwater Horizon – here.