Making Neuss Nicer for Swans
Those rootin’ Teutons at PETA Deutschland (that’s Germany, for those who don’t sprechen the language) are always up to something interesting. Here’s one recent example of their work for animals.
Working with the Düsseldorf duck hotline (best duck hotline name ever, don’t you think?), PETA Germany campaigner Stefan Bröckling has rescued four swans at the port of Neuss. The birds were sitting at the water’s edge, totally exhausted, their feathers covered in what appeared to be cooking oil.
PETA Germany became involved after a Frau Münchs noticed an oily surface on the water and then saw eight swans with very wet-looking feathers—not at all typical for water birds—trying vigorously to groom themselves. And this wasn’t the first time: Last year, at least six swans were affected in a similar incident there.
Ms. Münchs contacted local officials who gave her the ol’ runaround before someone at the harbormaster’s office finally admitted that a broken filter at an oil production company had leaked oil into the water. The office claimed, however, that the oil had since been removed and that they considered the situation to be under control, adding that the oil is supposed to degrade by itself in the bird’s feathers.
Nice try, but we’d have to call Stier Scheiße (you will have to look that up) on that old line …
Or, as PETA Germany’s Stefan put it: “That’s simply wrong; the oil decomposes the protecting layer of fat within water birds’ feathers and soaks in deeper and deeper as time passes. The feathers soak up water like a sponge; the swans lose body temperature and die in the end.”
Stefan rescued four swans, but one had already died and the three other oiled birds are still missing. PETA Germany is now looking into filing a complaint for cruelty to animals against the oil producers as well as pushing officials to take the dumping of cooking oils more seriously.
It’s a good thing that Ms. Münchs was vigilant and blew the whistle. If you want to know more about how to help wildlife, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey