When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Birds washed ashore covered in "glue-like substance"
4:59pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
MORE than 100 seabirds have been taken into care and two had to be put down because of injuries.
Earlier a number of guillemots and razorbills covered in a 'glue-like substance' were discovered up on Portland.
More were discovered along the Dorset coast as far as Lyme Regis.
Experts have taken those in the worst condition into care, to be cleaned before they are released back into the wild.
The birds are being cared for at the RSPCA centre at West Hatch, where two of the 35 taken in yesterday had to be put down.
Around 80 more are to be taken to the centre later today and wildlife officers are reporting that the substance is causing lesions where it has come into contact with the birds' skin.
Paul Kennedy, a wildlife assistant at the centre, said: "One or two birds had to be put down because they had quite severe injuries, probably from bashing into rocks as they were coming ahsore.
"We have tried washing them, and have had some success with margerine, which seems to be absorbing the substance.
"It's a complete mystery as to what it is, I've never seen anything like it before."
He added: "Some of the birds have lesions where it has come into contact with the skin on their legs.
"But there are no signs so far of it affecting internal organs."
Martin Cade, of the Portland Bird Observatory, has been working with the RSPCA and Dorset Wildlife Trust to rescue the birds.
He said: "We started getting calls from the public yesterday, so we have been out looking for them.
"Some were sitting on the beaches looking very sorry for themselves, but there are more who were well enough to waddle off when we approached."
He added: "Normally when you see birds in this state it is oil, but this is a horrible, gluey substance that they are just plastered in."