The attempted rehabilitation of oiled sea birds

J V Beer


Following the Torrey Canyon oiling disaster a number of sea birds, mostly auks, were cared for at Slimbridge. Methods of cleaning, management and feeding are described. The acute and chronic diseases developing in captivity were investigated, as were methods of treatment. The rapid restoration of waterproofing is considered the crux of the problem. Despite much effort, few birds could be returned to the sea and their long-term survival is in doubt. More research is needed before attempted rehabilitation can be considered a satisfactory alternative to humane destruction.

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