I truncated this post to give you the option to view or not view the graphic images in this video. Although I hope everyone sees and is moved to action by these nightmarish depictions of oiled birds, I understand how a sensitive soul might be affected by the suffering here. There’s a reason I’m up at 2am, unable to sleep, posting words that can’t possibly encompass the grief I feel.
These photos are so much more severe than anything I’ve seen in person. Or maybe I’m just forgetting the internal screams I had to muffle when witnessing my first oiled birds — coated bill to tail in a sludge so suffocating, I equated it to mummification by petroleum.
I have no words beyond the ones I’ve laid out here. I just implore people to care . . . and contribute to the greater good in any way they see fit.
This video comes by way of IBRRC (International Bird Rescue Research Center), saints on earth when it comes to oil spills and the life-saving work they do. Please pass along your support to all of the wildlife organizations in the Gulf states . . . and to the workers putting aside everything else to care for the animals.
One of the best ways to help if you care about wildlife in this disaster and around the world, is to support your local wildlife hospitals and rescue organizations. IBRRC reminds readers at the blog that BP will be paying for the spill-related expenses along the Gulf Coast. But as Jay Holcomb says, “[local wildlife organizations] care for the same wild animals that are being impacted by the spill. A pelican is a pelican whether is it tangled in fishing tackle or oiled! Please send support to your local wildlife rehabilitation organizations.”
By no stretch of any imagination, do these beautiful birds deserve one ounce of the horror film we’ve inflicted upon them. They do, however, deserve our compassion and our help — and our collective commitment to find a better way to coexist in our fragile environments.
Edited to add: Here’s a positive face on this sad news — a photo of several rescued, oiled pelicans now in the capable hands of IBRRC and other wildlife responders in the Gulf area.
–> More information: Gulf Oil Disaster Updates
Heartbreaking, Ingrid. What a damned nightmare.