Contaminated Bermuda Lake is 'so bad' people should stay away as animals rescued

The rescue operation is underway on the lake
The rescue operation is underway on the lake -Credit:CoventryLive

The RSPCA has branded an oil spill at a lake in Nuneaton as 'awful'. They remain at Bermuda Lake today with boats out to try and rescue birds covered in the oil slick.

It has warned that, as the lake is 'so badly contaminated', dog walkers should stay away. Officers managed to rescue three goslings, a young coot and an adult goose. But there are more that may need help.

RSPCA inspector Nicola Johnson said: “This is an awful incident. Oil spills can be lethal so we are very concerned for the wildlife in and around this lake.

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"We were able to rescue three goslings from the lake on Wednesday night, and yesterday we rescued more goslings, a very young coot and an adult goose," she added. "They have all been taken to our Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire.

“We are continuing the rescue operation using two RSPCA boats and we are working closely with other organisations including the local council and Severn Trent Water. We would also like to remind people that while the lake is still contaminated so badly, dogs should be kept away from the water.”

The RSPCA, the Environment Agency and the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary as well as Severn Trent were at the lake yesterday, and the rescue operation will continue throughout today.

Some of the birds who were rescued from the oil spill on the lake
Some of the birds who were rescued from the oil spill on the lake -Credit:RSPCA

Lee Stewart, manager of RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, added: “We’ve been thoroughly washing the oil off these first three little goslings and we’re happy to report that they are all now cleaned up. Two further rescued oiled goslings, a day-old coot and an adult goose recently arrived. So it’s going to be another busy day!

“If oil is not removed from waterbirds it reduces the natural waterproofing in their plumage, leaving them at risk of dying from hypothermia - so it is vital that they are treated as soon as possible. Because the goslings have lost their parents, they will stay in our care until they are ready to fend for themselves when we will return them to the wild. Stapeley Grange has a Natural England licence that allows us to release Canada Geese back to the wild."

The RSPCA urging anyone who has any information about this incident, or sees pollution on water or land to call the Environment Agency 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Concerns for a wild animal that has come into contact with oil or other contaminants should be reported to the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.

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