A drop of Dawn dish soap saves birds

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CINCINNATI – A drop of oil the size of a dime on a bird’s body or wings can damage the insulated layer of down feathers and cause the bird to freeze to death.
So when 58,000 gallons of heavy-duty oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay Nov. 7, experts and volunteers from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and Dawn dish soap knew they had no time to waste. A call went out to Proctor & Gamble, and nearly 200 cases of Dawn Ultra were immediately shipped to the clean-up site.
Now the lives of birds and other marine wildlife throughout the bay are being saved.
Destruction. Staffers from International Bird Rescue Research Center were among the first to arrive at the scene. Roughly 200 birds were found dead in the bay on the first day, but hundreds of others were on the beach and in the water struggling for life.
Members of the organization spent the next few days trying to quickly reach the remaining birds with much-needed medical attention. Rescuers were able to transport hundreds of severely oiled birds to the International Bird Rescue Research Center for medical exams and a life-saving bath in Dawn Ultra.
The spill, which occurred when a large cargo ship crashed into the western span of the Bay Bridge, has been reported as one of the largest in the past two decades.
Best. The International Bird Rescue Research Center has been using Dawn since the 1970s, when founder Alice Berkner discovered that the product’s powerful degreasing action was also gentle enough to be used on the delicate feathers of oiled birds.
“After trying everything from mascara remover to acetone, she found out that Dawn actually worked the best,” said research center spokesperson Karen Benzel.

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