DEPOSIT(WBNG) — On Thursday morning in Deposit, 4,000 of gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the Upper Delaware River after a train derailed. While it seems to be dissolving quickly, wildlife rehabilitators say there will be a greater impact on aquatic animals like geese and ducks.
12 News found one goose east of the Hale Eddy Bridge, drenched in fuel.
Missy Runyan, from Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center said they’ve located 10 birds and already rescued at least three.
She said if the birds ingest the fuel, it could be deadly.
“When they’re out there and they’re preening, they’re actually ingesting the toxin,” Runyan said, “so that’s why it’s kind of imperative. The sooner we get them the better so the less they can ingest.”
Runyan said once the geese and ducks are rescued, they will be given fluids and be bathed multiple times.
Before releasing them back to their habitat near the river, Runyan said there are a few variables to consider.
“Geese love to bury their face in mud and soil so likely I wouldn’t put them back there until we had confirmation the soil and things around there were healthy,” Runyan said.
She added that even if the water is okay, the soil could still be contaminated.
Even though the diesel fuel has impacted some wildlife, Runyan said there is a silver lining in this situation.
She said since the water levels were so high at the time of the spill the diesel was pushed down the river.
Runyan said there weren’t many birds at the scene because they left after the commotion, but now she is working to locate more geese and ducks covered in fuel.
She said if someone finds an animal covered in fuel to contact a wildlife rehabilitator. You can contact the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center here.