More than 100 guillemots treated by the RSPCA after being overcome by unidentified substance along the Devon and Dorset coast.
The RSPCA is continuing to rescue and care for more than 100 sea birds found washed ashore along the south coast covered in an unidentified sticky substance.
Around 17 guillemots were found along the Dorset coast last Wednesday (January 30) with more than 100 birds now recovered. Most were found at Chesil Beach, near Portland in Dorset, but one bird was found alive as far as Worthing in West Sussex and is now being cared for at a vet, while another was found in the Isle of Wight.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector John Pollock, who has been leading the rescue mission in Dorset, said: “We just do not know what this substance is. It is white, odourless and globular, like a silicone sealer. The best way I can think to describe it is ‘sticky Vaseline’.
“The numbers of the birds coming in have been growing and, sadly, there were quite a few dead birds this morning.
“We are still down at the beach though collecting and trying to save as many of them as we can. We are expecting this rescue mission to continue.”
Most of the guillemots have been taken to RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton, Somerset where 123 of the birds are being cared for.
Manager of RSPCA West Hatch Peter Venn said: “It is still early days and hard to say how the birds will survive in the long-term.
“We don’t know what this substance is or what it might be doing to the birds, but we can say that margarine does seem to remove it and we are doing all we possibly can to give them the best chance we can of survival.
“We would urge anyone who finds any of these birds to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”