Saturday, May 01 2010 @ 12:40 PM EDT
Contributed by: jkr
That bird, recovered offshore on Friday and taken to an emergency rehabilitation center to be cleaned up and nursed back to health, is only the tip of a potential calamity facing the region's birds, sea turtles and marine mammals.
Besides the rescued Gannet, and several sperm whales seen swimming in and around the oil slick earlier, no "confirmed animal impacts" have been reported, yet, Dr. Michael Ziccardi, a veterinarian overseeing some of the wildlife rescue teams in the region, said in a telephone interview from Houma, Louisiana.
But, he added soberly: "That is not going to stay the same. We are expecting many more (casualties) in the days to come. We hope that number is not catastrophic. We're ... hoping for the best but planning for the worst."
(Reuters) - The first known wildlife casualty of the massive oil spill threatening the U.S. Gulf Coast was a single Northern Gannet seabird, found alive but coated in the toxic grime creeping ashore along Louisiana's coast.