What English Bay oil spill means for the animals

oil spill turtleToxic fuel is spreading to the shore in Vancouver’s English Bay after a leak from a cargo ship last night – and that means animals are at risk.

The suspect ship, Marthassa, has been surrounded by booms to try and prevent further spread, the CBC has reported. But it remains unknown how much of the dangerous fuel was leaked and what the long-term implications could be for the local ecosystems.

Many of our members will be focused on the wildlife in a situation like this, and we want to provide a brief list of things you should know:

  • Never attempt to wash an oiled animal yourself, as this is dangerous for boththe handler,and the fragile animal. Always contact a professional, permitted wildlife rehabilitator.
  • Wildlife Rescue Association of BC is the local wildlife contact for this spill, 604-526-7275.
  • If you see an oiled animal call WRA so they can assess the situation. Do not chase or try to grab until discussing with a rehabilitator. Chasing can cause exhaustion and oiled animals cannot thermoregulate properly. Over extending their energy, by running, trying to fly, etc., can kill them.

The Fur-Bearers will continue to monitor this situation and post updates here on our blog and on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) as they become available.

To get more information on how to respond to wildlife in oil spill situations, please visit the links listed below.

UPDATE: For sightings of affected wildlife call 604-873-7000. @CityofVancouver is handling calls & will forward to responders.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible.

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