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Oil Spill's Effect on Turtles and Toads

Oil Spill's Effect on Turtles and Toads

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David Mifsud releasing a Midland painted turtle after rehabilitation. (Photo courtesy of Herpetological Resource and Management)

Host: Rebecca Williams
Show date: 01/13/2011

Summary:
Crews are still out on the Kalamazoo River cleaning up oil from last summer’s spill.

This is the Environment Report. I’m Rebecca Williams.

Enbridge Energy Partners recently revised its estimate of how much oil spilled from its pipeline into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. They revised it upward to more than 840,000 gallons.

Right now, crews are focusing on cleaning the contaminated soil.

It’s not clear what the long term impacts will be on wildlife.

After the spill, rescue teams collected more than 2,400 birds, mammals, fish and reptiles... and took them to a rehab center to have the oil cleaned off. Most of the animals brought into the center survived.

David Mifsud is a herpetologist. He was hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help with the initial wildlife recovery.

He says turtles made up the majority of wildlife rescued from the spill site.

“We had some, their mouths were so tacky with the oil they could barely open their mouths. We saw some pretty devastating things.”



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