Mysterious Goo Coats Hundreds of California Seabirds
About 100 birds in the San Francisco Bay area have died from hypothermia after being covered in a mysterious goo.
Hundreds of birds in the East Bay area of Northern California have been found covered in a mysterious goo that causes hypothermia.
About 100 seabirds had died at the International Bird Rescue's San Francisco Bay center, where rescue workers were cleaning dozens a day.
"The good news is that we have modified our wash protocol and it appears to be working on healthier birds," said International Bird Rescue's interim director, Barbara Callahan, in a statement. "However, some of the birds that have recently arrived are in much poorer condition, likely because they've had this substance on their feathers for several days now."
After an oil spill, birds are typically washed using just soap and water, but it's not working in this case, the Los Angeles Times reported. Volunteers are now using a mixture that includes a chemical agent, baking soda and vinegar -- and then washing the birds with soap and water.
A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told the Times that the substance does not appear to be petroleum based and does not seem to be a hazard to humans.
"It's some material that we nor the wildlife center has ever seen before," said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "It's a real mystery."
via the Los Angeles Times
A bufflehead duck is seen covered in a mysterious substance at the International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay center.