PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Wildlife is suffering from a diesel fuel spill in a Portsmouth Lake.
Animal Control and Portsmouth Fire and Rescue crews responded Lake Collins on Navajo Trail Wednesday morning after someone reported a strong fuel odor.
"I smelled the petroleum smell and started seeing the geese had oil on them, so I called the city and they arrived here within 10-15 minutes," said Kittrell Eberwine, the owner of a nearby apartment complex.
The diesel fuel spill happened Tuesday outside a business several blocks away, but the contractor did not clean up the spill properly, causing the fuel to enter the drainage system.
Officials say the spill may have been as large as 50 gallons.
The fire department sent out hazmat crews to clean up the spill. They used large booms and sponges to containe the area and soak diesel off the surface of the water
Animal control and PETA field workers attempted to capture geese to help remove the fuel from their feathers.
"She's in poor condition," said Misty Collins, a PETA field worker tending to a geese covered in fuel. "We're going to get her to the Virginia Beach SPCA. They have wildlife rehabbers on site that can get her cleaned up."
The Virginia Beach SPCA is housing and rehabilitating the geese. Neighbors said, for once, they were sad to see the pesky birds go.
"Geese are unique animals," said Kevin Donati, a neighbor. "You either like them or don't like them or you get used to them. We got used to them and we feel for them when they get in trouble."
No charges have been filed.
This is a developing story. Stay with WAVY News 10 on air and online for updates.
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