Swans Endangered By Oil Spills


Animal welfare experts are cleaning around 200 swans rescued from an oil slick in a city centre marina.

The RSPCA retrieved the birds from Brayford Pool in Lincoln and transported them to the charity's rescue centre in East Winch, Norfolk, for treatment.

The oil is thought to have welled up from a small boat which sank after heavy rain caused the water level to rise.

RSPCA spokeswoman Lisa Dewhurst said the swans were at risk of poisoning themselves by consuming the oil as they preened their feathers, but was hopeful that most had been caught in time to prevent this.

"We estimated there were around 200 affected by this oil, so it was a case of all hands to the pump," said Miss Dewhurst.

"The danger is that the swans will ingest the oil as they try to clean themselves up. It can also affect their waterproofing and flying ability.

"But swans are large, strong birds, so we're confident they will all recover."

Miss Dewhurst added: "Our understanding is that the oil is from a boat which sank on Monday, but the Environment Agency is looking into this. You would not need a large amount of oil to inflict a lot of damage on birds."

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