Chicks killed by the Gulf oil spill

Raluca Coman

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The smallest victims of the Gulf of Mexico spill are the chicks of the birds from that area.
There is no method of knowing how many chicks have already been killed or starved because the parents were not able to bring food to the nest and Rebecca Dmytryk of the International Bird Rescue Research Center says that there are a lot of oiled chicks that have been not saved yet. Some of them ended up in a cleaning center at Fort Jackson, but the problem is that chicks can die from many different reasons, not only from lack of food or water: for example pelican chicks die because of cold. Their fluff is oily and it is stuck to the skin, so there is no warm air layer that can keep a suitable temperature. If they are not warmed quickly they will not survive until they will be cleaned.

Adult birds can be checked a few times a day, but chicks have to be taken care of almost all the time because they need to be fed very often and some of then can not eat on their own. 60 pelican chicks and more than 600 adults that were brought to Fort Jackson in June are among the 1,000 birds and more than 100 sea turtles rescued since the Gulf oil spill in April. The treatment is a little peculiar: they are given antibiotics and a mix of cod-liver oil and mayonnaise.11

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3 Responses to Chicks killed by the Gulf oil spill

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