Oil Spill and Wildlife: Leave It to Professionals

PENSACOLA (2010-5-3) -

As the oil slick approaches beaches in Florida’s northern panhandle, wildlife officials are asking would-be Good Samaritans to leave saving the animals to them.

On the beached around Pensacola, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is getting ready to clean birds and other animals coated by the oil.

Biologist Alan Knothe says anyone who comes across oil-coated wildlife should not touch it.

“The reason we're telling people to leave it be is: good intentioned people can sometimes, because they don't have the proper training on how to handle the wildlife, cause more harm than good,” he said.

“The other thing to be concerned with is the oil is also toxic to people. So you don't want to accidentally expose yourself to toxins by trying to rescue the wildlife.”

They’ve set up a hotline to call: 1-866-557-1401.

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