Unknown substance killing seabirds in San Francisco Bay

Jan 18, 2015 1:28 PM by News Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - An unknown, viscous gunk has been found in more than 60 seabirds on the San Francisco Bay's eastern shores.

Rescuers and state wildlife officials said Saturday that the substance damages a bird's feather structure and ability to remain waterproof, which can cause hypothermia and death. So far, at least 60 birds have been have been found covered in the gunk and four have died.

Barbara Callahan, interim director of International Bird Rescue, says tests have shown the substance - which is clear to pale gray in color - is not petroleum. It doesn't smell and can't be removed by soap.

The Coast Guard flew over the area and didn't see a spill or other indication of where the substance came from.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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