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    More Oiled Birds Found Near Marina Del Rey & Beyond; More Volunteers Sought At San Pedro Cleaning Facility

    (January 18, 2005) -- Following-up on a story previously reported by, a massive animal rescue operation continues as over 1,200 seabirds fouled by a mystery oil source have now turned up between Playa Del Rey and Santa Barbara.

    Rob Hughes, Public Information Officer for the CA Dept. of Fish & Game's Office of Spill Prevention & Response says that as of 11:15 p.m. January 17, a total of 1,019 seabirds, mainly Western Grebes, had been brought to San Pedro's Oiled Bird Care and Education Center in the Fort MacArthur complex. 241 subsequently died or were euthanized. Another 185 (beyond the 1,019) were DOA.

    Source: CA Dept. of Fish & Game

    The birds are cleaned, given medical aid and fed...and the first set of survivors may be released later this week south of San Pedro, Mr. Hughes indicated.

    The San Pedro Oiled Bird Care Center at 3600 Gaffey St. is part of CA's Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) run by the Wildlife Health Center at UC Davis' School of Veterinary Medicine. It's operating in partnership with Fish & Game and maintains 12 facilities along the CA coast.

    The OWCN is seeking volunteers over age 18 to help in the cleaning procedures. Interested adults may call 800-228-4544 for more information or to volunteer.

    The CA Dept. of Fish & Game is one of the state's oldest agencies (dating back to 1872) and one of its initial duties dealt with discharges of substances into waterways. The state agency reminds people: DON'T HANDLE OF APPROACH OILED OR INJURED WILDLIFE YOURSELF. "Injured animals can be even more dangerous to humans than healthy ones," Fish & Game says.

    There haven't been any reports of oiled birds turning up in the LB area but if you see an animal in distress, report it to 562-342-7222. "Trained wildlife professionals will be dispatched with appropriate equipment to capture and transport the animal without further injury," the state agency says.

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