Oil spill victims to be released back into wild

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A PUFFIN which became one of the latest victims of an oil spill off the North Yorkshire coast, which killed seabirds and blighted beaches, is set to be released back into the wild.

Staff at Scarborough’s Sea Life Sanctuary were called upon to help the puffin which had ingested oil following the pollution on the coast between Filey and Scarborough. The puffin was brought to the centre by a concerned member of the public just before the Easter holidays. Following swift treatment, including a charcoal solution to help absorb the oil, the bird has recovered in time for the breeding season.

“With the high number of casualties we have seen from the oil spill last month and the recent bad weather, it’s great that we are in a position to get the seabirds we rescued back out where they should be,” said displays curator Lyndsey Crawford.

Working alongside the RSPCA, five guillemots, a razorbill and the puffin are due to be released over the next few days.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said it is unlikely that the cause of the spill will be found after tests showed the oil was a common fuel oil.

The pollution incident affected at least a dozen seabirds but tests to establish the exact nature of the spill have failed to reveal who was responsible.

Oil has not been the only problem for local marine life in recent weeks.

It is thought that the coldest March since 1962 is largely responsible for an unprecedented 14 seal rescues that the centre has been involved in.

“We are still taking lots of calls reporting seals in distress, and could get even busier in the weeks ahead,” Ms Crawford said yesterday.

The centre is in need of old towels to help with its seal rescue work.

It appealed for people who are willing to help to bring any unwanted old towels into the centre at Scalby Mills, Scarborough.