101 things you can do with Soak | 005 Removing dirt and oil off wildlifePosted: 09/03/2010
Most of us have heard stories about oil spills and their effects on wild life. One of our customers, Laura Westlake is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and she sent us her Soak story.
“I can’t tell you how much I love your product. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, I use your “Soak” to bath my wild birds that need more than just water to clean their feathers. It is non toxic and gets the “bad” dirt and oil off them safely! I also use “Soak” to wash my 11 year old dog. I’ve used all other dog products, but there is none that compare to the way it cleans and makes her fur feel. It is also so gentle on the skin. It is the best!”
– Laura Westlake
We all loved her story and it stirred my curiosity about how exactly the oil effects the birds. Here is a summary of why oil spills are so detrimental and how wildlife rehabilitators are saving these birds. The information for this post was taken from here.
If you’ve ever looked at a feather closely, it has the stem in the middle and little veins coming out of both sides of the stem. These veins are then covered in tiny little barbs. All the little barbs link together to create a water proof barrier to prevent water from seeping in and keeps their skin nice and dry. When their feathers become covered in oil, the barbs don’t link together smoothly and the feathers clump and leave gaps, which essentially strip the feathers of their water proofing nature. Birds will then try to preen their feathers to smooth them out and in the process they will ingest the oil which is toxic and damages their organs. If left too long with oil on their feathers, these birds tend to freeze to death due to their inability to keep the water off their skin.
These wildlife rehabilitators find these birds and clean their feathers with a mild soap or in Laura’s case, Soak. They feed the animals until they are back to a healthy weight and free them back into the wild.
Thanks for the great story Laura!