Wildlife rescue workers in Florida have discovered a common sandwich ingredient is perfect for cleaning toxic crude from the skin of oiled sea turtles.
Just days ago, government officials announced that the BP well responsible for the worst oil spill in American history is finally dead. Unfortunately, the crisis has only just begun for wildlife that lives in and around the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The staff at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida are still seeing new oiled turtles come in from areas affected by the spill, and they are using an easy-to-get, safe, and effective kitchen condiment to save their lives...
Inevitably, turtles get into the oily tar and end up with a nasty, often deadly coating. To clean the turtles, mayonnaise “works really well,” Ryan Butts, administrator of The Turtle Hospital told the National Wildlife Federation.
As of August 13th, 525 dead sea turtles have been collected in the Gulf. Most of these died as a result of direct contact with the oil, while others became caught in booms or skimmers designed to clean up the spill (Independent).
After watching the weather forecasts and ocean currents for more than two months, ocean experts now believe that the delicate ecosystems of the Florida Keys will be spared from the impacts of the spill, but that doesn't mean the turtle-loving volunteers will get a break any time soon.
Scientists are warning that large masses of oil found that have settled on the ocean floor and large plumes still permeating the deep water could threaten future turtle populations in the Gulf and South Florida waters.
Sargassum is an amber-colored variety of floating seaweed that provides food and shelter for sea turtles, as well as shrimp, crabs, and thousands of varieties of fish. Unfortunately, sargassum fields in the Gulf are also perfect for trapping floating oil that can be as thick as Hershey's syrup.
With oil saturation of some sargassum mats already confirmed, rescue workers fear that a whole generation of sea turtles could be at risk.
Image Credit: Flickr - DeepwaterHorizonResponse