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Investigation into seabird "pollution"

An investigation is continuing into how more than a hundred birds came to be covered in a mysterious sticky substance on a 200-mile stretch of coastline in Dorset.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) were called to the south coast yesterday after the troubled guillemots, a member of the auk family, were discovered on Lyme Bay near Weymouth.

Environment Agency staff have taken samples of the affected water in an attempt to discover what the mysterious substance is.

Caring for smothered sea birds

Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA staff attempt to treat some of the 100 birds that have washed up on Dorset's beaches, covered in a sticky, greasy substance.

Credit: RSPCA

Some have died but most have been taken an RSPCA Wildlife centre. Many have sore legs and early signs are that they are not responding well. And the number of birds coming in has been increasing in the last few hours.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have collected samples of this sticky substance for testing . It's not thought to be fuel. But untill its identified, the RSPCA are advising walkers to take care.

Credit: RSPCA


Warning over contaminated birds

Members of the public are being warned about handling distressed birds on the south coast.

During the past 24 hours, a number of live birds have washed up on beaches covered in an unknown substance.

While the substance is being identified, agencies are urging people to avoid coming into contact with the birds and to keep pets away from the shoreline.

If anyone spots an affected bird or animal, they should report it to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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