January 01, 2008

 

 Veterinarians to the rescue - January 1, 2008

 
posted December 15, 2008
 
Veterinarians to the rescue

Soon after a South Korean tanker spilled 58,000 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay, Nov. 3, 2007, members of the California Oiled Wildlife Care Network, based at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, were on the scene. The rescue team worked in a custom-built recovery and rehabilitation trailer, where they assessed the health of oiled birds brought from beaches and the bay waters. Later, the birds were taken to the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Cordelia. After being warmed, fed, and stabilized, the birds had the oil washed off—a difficult and highly stressful procedure for the animals. In the photo, Katherine Sisquig, a second-year student at the UCD-SVM, and Jay Holcomb, director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center, wash an oiled bird. Sisquig was trained by the network to work with the birds. As of late November, more than a thousand oiled birds had been captured, with nearly 200 of them cleaned and returned to the wild, according to the California Department of Fish and Game. Veterinarians at UC-Davis have begun analyzing rescue procedures to improve oiled birds' chances of survival.