Newport Aquarium offering help to Gulf Coast animals - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Newport Aquarium offering help to Gulf Coast animals

By Brad Underwood – bio | email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Experts from the Newport Aquarium are reaching out to help animals in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wildlife along the coast is in more and more danger as the spill grows.

Biologist Ric Urban, curator of birds and mammals at the Newport Aquarium, is constantly in contact with zoos and aquariums near the gulf coast.

"Zoos and aquariums around the country are standing ready to support these areas when necessary," said Urban.

That support will most likely come by way of volunteering and treating sick birds along the coast.

"Birds like the brown pelican, the white pelican, the northern gannets. These animals usually spend most of their life out on the oceans, swimming and flying around," said Urban.

If the oil gets on the feathers of these birds, it breaks down their waterproofing, eventually making them too heavy to fly, swim and catch prey, and eventually leading to death.

Its anticipated that soon the oil will reach places were feeding for the animals takes place.

"It's covering up the snails that they eat, the little fishes, the areas that they would be in," said Urban.

Urban says he and his team are ready if called upon to treat and rehabilitate any innocent victims resulting from this disaster.

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