Wildlife Death Toll From Oil Spill Still Uncertain

Federal officials say they don’t know whether a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed 189 sea turtles, birds and other animals found dead since it started.The total includes 154 sea turtles, primarily the endangered Kemp’s ridley variety, plus 12 dolphins and 23 birds.

But in a phone news conference Tuesday, officials said they don’t know if any of the animals were killed by oil or the chemicals being used to disperse it.

Barbara Schroeder of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries program says necropsies have not detected oil in the bodies of the sea turtles.

Acting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould says the spill’s effects could be felt for decades and may never be fully known because so many affected creatures live far offshore.

(source)

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