Virginia Beach, Va. – Crates are what several ducks and geese are calling home for now at the Virginia Beach SPCA after a large diesel fuel tank ruptured, leaked fuel, and covered some of the animals in Portsmouth Lake earlier this week.
Barbara Gipson, shelter manager, says it could take another week or two before the birds are ready to go back to their natural habitat.
“They`re evaluated, assessed medically, we need to be very careful that they don`t have any internal trauma due to preening themselves and ingesting any of the toxin,” says Gipson.
Then, they have to be cleaned a lot.
In fact, volunteers have to gently bathe the birds at least 3 times with soap to make sure the fuel is out of their feathers, otherwise.
“They`re not able to stay water-proofed, which means they can`t insulate their body temperature and that causes multiple problems, even flying issues,” says Gipson.
But Gipson is aware that some folks aren’t fans of geese, many of them being territorial.
“You don`t want to see a bird like this, even though they might be mean. You don`t want to see a bird in this predicament correct? Oh correct, and I think even the residents would say the same thing. They don`t want any harm to come to them,” says Gipson.