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January 10, 2002

Rescued “mystery spill” birds to be released

What: Wildlife specialists will release birds oiled in the "San Mateo Mystery Spill."

When: Friday, Jan. 11, 2002 at 1 p.m.

Where: On beach at Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor
Center, on West Crissy Field, San Francisco

Visuals: Beautiful, clean seabirds (mostly common murres, which look like
little penguins) will be let out of boxes to walk into San Francisco Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Background: Almost 1,200 oiled seabirds have been collected along the Central Coast since Nov. 24th, 2001. Murres are a species of seabird most commonly affected by oil spills in California. The birds were treated, cleaned and rehabilitated at the new San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Careand Education Center, in Cordelia, by UC Davis veterinarians, the staff of International Bird Rescue Research Center and many volunteers.

The center, which opened February 2001, is one of nine rescue sites in the statewide Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), the world's most advanced rescue system for oiled wildlife. The 12,000-square-foot facility can care for up to 1,000 birds affected by an oil spill in the San Francisco Bay Area. It includes an animal hospital, cleaning areas, and pools and aviaries for recovery.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is funded by the California Department of Fish & Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and managed by UC Davis. The International Bird Rescue Research Center has its headquarters at the Cordelia facility and is coordinating the birds' rehabilitation in this spill.

Directions: Meet on the beach adjacent to the Visitor Center of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, on West Crissy Field, San Francisco. Directions

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Media contacts:

• Karen Benzel, International Bird Rescue Research Center, Karen@ibrrc.org

Office: (831) 622-7588

• Sylvia Wright, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-7704,

• Dana Michaels, OSPR Public Affairs, (916) 327-9948,

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