Creek Enquirer

Getting the oil off: A volunteer specialist at the Wildlife Response Facility in Marshall works Thursday toremove oil contamination from a turtle: Volunteers have come from across the country to help animals recover from exposure to the recent Kalamazoo River oil spill.


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Potter Park Zoo staffers assisting at wildlife facility

agreef13@lsj.com MARSHALL ~ There's a constant hum of activity at the WildlifeResponse Facility near Marshall, where maps of the Kalamazoo t Activists River line the seek ban on walls and voldrilling in unteers wanGreat Lakes, der in and PagelB out of the main office wearing boots and handheld radios. The volunteers are there to help wildlife affected by the Enbridge oil spill. They Victims of oil spill: More than 200 animals have come through the Wildlife Response Facility near Marshall. More than 150 are still in care. Help from Potter Park Zoo: Deb Paperd and Jake Brodie, with Potter Park Zoo, take a break at the Wildlife Response Center. come from across the country, but they all have one mantra: they will stay as long as they're needed. More than 200 animals have come through the station. More than 150 are still in care, and a small army of volunteers is helping them during recovery. One of those volunteers is Dr. Tara Harrison, veterinarian and curator at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. "I plan on going back as often as I can and as long as I can," Harrison said earlier this week from her office at the Potter Park Zoo. "Obviously I do have a job here at the zoo and have to take care of plenty of animals here, but that's also the reason why we're trying to train as many people as we can here, so we can provide help as long as it's needed."



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Wildlife: Supplies, drivers needed to aid rescue efforts


Harrison has gone to the Wildlife Response Facility twice, and other zoo staff have also made several trips to assist with efforts,It's part of the zoo's goal to help animals whether they are in the zoo or in the wild, she said. "It's not their fault that they got affected by Harrison this oil spill - it's human caused, so therefore it is our duty to help resolve it," Harrison said. Resolving the challenges of wildlife covered in oil can take anywhere from days to weeks. Birds can't fly when their feathers are covered in oil, and turtles can suffer longterm effects when their skin and shells are covered in the substance.


Creek Enquirer

Working together: Volunteer specialists at the Wildlife Response
Facility work Thursday afternoon to remove oil from a goose. Potter Park Zoo staffers have been helping in the recovery efforts.

• Donations can be dropped off at Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, 600 Curtis St., Mason. For information on what is needed, call the shelter at 676-8370. • Drivers are also needed to take supplies to The Crossroads Church at 717Old U.S.27 North, Marshall. E-mail sarahjgilmour@gmail.com to volunteer to drive supplies to Marshall.

Online Formore on the Extra oil spill go to
www.lsj.com/ oilspill

Entering the facility
When animals enter the facility they receive a number, undergo a medical exam, and are treated and cleaned before being put in a holding area. While in holding, trained volunteers assess whether the animals need follow-up treatments before being released. That means volunteers are needed to feed the animals and clean holding areas. The Environmental Protection Agency is the incident command agency, according to Tom Alvarez,public affairs specialist for the northeast region of the u.s.

Wildlife,an international organization dedicated to responding to oiled wildlife emergencies. "It's partly the quickness of the response, the effectiveness of the facility and the people caring for them."

Lots to do
Jake Brodie, a 24-year-old from Lansing who is an intern keeper at Potter Park Zoo, has been helping with everything from cleaning floors to performing medical assessments. One thing he's found while spending time at the Wildlife Response Facilityis there's a way for everyone to help. "There are lots of things you can. be doing - they always need more supplies and resources and things like that," Brodie said.

Fish & Wildlife Service. There is a structure in place for emergency responses like this, Alvarez said, and it often involves a combined effort of agencies from the federal level to the local level. Officials and volunteers seem to agree that the response is going well and the animals are receiving the care they need. "They're doing very well," said Linda Elliott, animal care manager for Focus