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Texas Wildlife Oil Response Team Tends to Animals

A group from Texas is providing care to dozens of wild animals covered in oil after the Exxon Mobil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower last week.
MAYFLOWER- A group from Texas is providing care to dozens of wild animals covered in oil after the Exxon Mobil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower last week.

Biologists and veterinarians with Wildlife Response Services who specialize in the delicate work of rehabilitating animals, have a warehouse facility operation set up to wash the crude off of feathers and fur.
It's a handpicked expert team that's giving the very best care under such unfortunate circumstances.

Dozens of wild animals suffering and stressed out from their experience have been rescued and saved. Ducks, birds, a beaver, turtles, and even a skunk were shuttled by van to North Little Rock to begin what can be a long process of baths using baby oil, toothbrushes, and liquid Dawn dishwashing soap to strip off the toxic sludge. Managing Director of Wildlife Response Services Rhonda Murgatroyd says the team is working night and day.
"The animals come to this rehab center and they're taken care of immediately. If it's 10 o'clock at night when they come in then we stay."

The same team worked the Gulf oil spill and 5 other similar incidents since then before descending on Central Arkansas. Murgatroyd says it's a passion and love for the animals, and a desire to release them back into nature as soon as possible that's keeps them going. "That pit in your stomach, we also get that, too because if we didn't love animals than none of us would be here."

Murgatroyd says the highlight of the job is seeing animals come in on the edge of dying that survive and thrive and can be returned to the wild. Sometimes it takes 2 weeks, other times 2 months. In the case of the Gulf oil spill, it took nearly 2 years. "Our job is to take care of the animals and to get them back out there, and we will do our best until it's all complete."

A huge expense depending on how long the team stays on site and how many animals they treat. Exxon Mobil is paying for all the costs.

The team is highly trained and specializes in this type of work and asks anyone who finds oiled animals not to touch them. Only a trained professional should deal with these types of situations. All oiled wild animals from the Mayflower spill should be reported to 1-800-876-9291.
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