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VIDEO: Rescued seabirds found on Chesil Beach will be released tomorrow
11:16am Wednesday 27th February 2013 in News
SEABIRDS rescued from Chesil Beach covered in an oil additive will be released back into the wild tomorrow.
More than 300 birds, mainly guillemots, were washed up last month along the Dorset coast covered in a waxy substance.
Around 200 survived and many were taken to West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton where they are recovering well.
Dozens of them will be making their first flights back over the sea from a cliff-top on Portland.
Peter Venn, manager at West Hatch, praised everyone who was involved in the rescue operation.
He said: “Our staff have done a fantastic job in cleaning and caring for these birds and now some of them are strong and fit enough to be released back to the wild where they belong.
“They arrived in quite a weak state and needed quite a bit of care and attention to get them rehydrated, fed and strong again before we could wash the sticky substance off them.”
Watch a video of the oiled guillemots being cared for:
Staff will check the weather conditions and make sure the birds are fit and well enough to make their return in the morning before releasing them during the afternoon.
Most of the birds are being cared for at the RSPCA’s West Hatch wildlife centre and some were taken to Mallydams Wood in Hastings, East Sussex where the first releases back into the wild took place last week.
The Environment Agency tested the substance and found it was polyisobutylene or butyl rubber, a colourless synthetic rubber.
Staff at the wildlife centres used margarine to clean the waxy substance off the birds.