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Vets Head to Gulf

Two NC State veterinarians and a veterinary technician headed south this week after receiving an emergency request from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for marine animal experts to assist in the Gulf Coast oil spill response. They join an NC State avian expert already in the field.

Loggerhead sea turtle pulled from the Gulf of Mexico.

An oil-covered loggerhead sea turtle is pulled from the Gulf of Mexico. Photos: the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Dr. Greg Lewbart, professor of aquatic animal medicine; Dr. Craig Harms, associate professor of aquatic, wildlife, and zoologic medicine; and Shane Christian, marine animal veterinary technician, are working with the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans to rescue sea turtles who have encountered the spill. The affected species include the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, green sea turtles, loggerheads, and hawksbills.

They expected to remain in the region for at least two weeks.

Avian expert Dr. Greg Massey is also working along the Gulf Coast rescuing pelicans and other sea and shore birds as part of an ongoing relationship with the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.

Watch the WRAL video report.

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