Â Hundreds of seabirds in California have been found covered in a mysterious goo.
Over 300 birds have been rescued, but sadly 100 have died.
“It’s a full-on mystery,” the spokesman for the California Fish and Wildlife Department, Andrew Hughan, said. “We have no idea what they are coated in and I’m not sure when we will have the answer,” he said.
An oil spill has already been ruled out.
Birds that have been involved in an oil spill are usually washed in soap and water, which dissolves the oil. Unfortunately, this method does not work on the mystery goo.
â€œThe good news is that we have modified our wash protocol and it appears to be working on healthier birds,” said International Bird Rescue’s interim director, Barbara Callahan, in a statement. â€œHowever, some of the birds that have recently arrived are in much poorer condition, likely because theyâ€™ve had this substance on their feathers for several days now.â€
Now they have to use a chemical agent, vinegar and baking soda. The birds are then washed with soap and water. So far this seems to be the only thing working to remove the goo.
“They can’t warm themselves in the water because when the stuff gets on their feathers it disables them from being waterproof. It’s in the feathers and then the water gets to the skin,” said Mark Russell with International Bird Rescue.
The mysterious substance has been sent to a lab to be tested to see if it can be identified.
If you would like to donate to help with the cost of cleaning the birds you can click here.