North East Wales

Duck oil spill rescue continues in Glyndyfrdwy

Media captionThe 500 birds were to destined for a shoot but are now on their way to a wildlife centre in Somerset for cleaning

A rescue operation to save up to 500 ducks caught up in an oil spill on a lake is continuing in Denbighshire, says the RSPCA.

Nearly 200 have been rounded up so far following the incident in Glyndyfrdwy, between Corwen and Llangollen.

Most of the birds are heavily coated in engine oil and are being taken to the RSPCA's wildlife centre in Taunton, Somerset, for treatment.

The rescue started on Monday after last week's oil spill.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the spill was confined to the lake and there was no impact on the wider environment.

The agency was called out to investigate the incident on Thursday and Friday and advised the landowner how to clean up the oil.

The ducks were originally reared for shooting but had been signed over to the RSPCA, said its officials.

It said they would be rehabilitated and survivors released back into the wild.

RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben said: "Oil can be incredibly damaging to birds - affecting their plumage and so their ability to stay warm and dry. It can also cause a lot of internal injuries if ingested."

The RSPCA said the birds were being washed in Taunton and kept on pools so staff could check that their feathers were waterproof and there were no long-term effects from the oil.

Peter Venn, RSPCA centre manager, said: "So far they all seem to be doing well which is good news."

He said the oil was coming off easily with washing up liquid and the ducks seemed relatively strong.

"Fingers crossed we can get as many of them as possible fighting fit and ready for release," he added.

People with information about the oil spill can contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 123 8018.

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