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Animal sanctuary in plea for help
5:00pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
PEOPLE have been donating unwanted towels at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary charity shop to help in the ongoing work to help care for hundreds of birds contaminated with an oil additive.
The birds were found off the South Coast a few weeks ago and 300 or so were taken to the RSPCA wildlife centre at West Hatch near Taunton.
Volunteers at the Ferne charity shop in Fore Street, Chard, were more than happy to take up the call to help with towels in urgent need at West Hatch with the cleaning of the birds.
A West Hatch spokesman said: “We’re continuing to rescue and care for hundreds of sea birds washed ashore covered in a gluey substance described as sticky Vaseline.’ “We have about 300 birds in at the moment and are feeding them around 90kg of sprats a day at a cost of 85p per kilo.
“This means we are spending £76.50 a day just in sprats, while each bird is being treated with a product called Itrafungo.”
Some birds have been transferred to another RSPCA centre to ease the pressure on West Hatch.
The mystery substance was later found to be a form of polyisoubtene which was used as a lubricating additive in oils to improve performance.
Birds – mostly guillemots – were found with the substance congealed on their feathers, reducing their waterproof coating and ability to stay warm and afloat at sea.