Oil spills at sea can be devastating for seabirds, but a team of freshly trained Illawarra Australia wildlife rescuers are ready to help save and clean our feathered friends.
The country’s first modified shipping container to clean oiled sea birds was in Port Kembla to help train volunteers.
The shipping container is one of only three in Australia, and features washing facilities, a power generator, water pumps and two LPG gas heaters to ensure the birds are washed at the right temperature.
“Birds have a higher body temperature than humans, so the water is set just below 29 degrees so they don’t go into shock when they’re getting washed,” says Geoff Ross, coordinator of wildlife programs at the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
In breaking down the oil, the water penetrates the bird’s insulating barrier, meaning they can easily go into shock due to the cold.
The warm water also helps to break down the oil when used in conjunction with a special detergent.
It’s all part of Australia’s environmental commitment to the wildlife when there’s a man-made disaster.