This Is How Animals Are Recovered After An Oil Spill

The environmental emergency killed 2,500 species. Cabildo Verde leads a restoration process.

28 days passed before Ecopetrol could take control and start sealing the Lisama 158 well in the La Fortuna district of Barrancabermeja (Santander). With the procedure, the outcrop of oil, sludge and gas registered between March 2 and March 30 finally ceased, and with it, the actions focused even more on the recovery of the ecosystem and the affected communities.

After a month and a half of the emergency, the causes of the flight have not been clarified. The state oil company has said that the situation was presented by a fracture in the tubular lining of this deposit that had been inactive since 2006.

The inventory of damages was dramatic: at least 2,500 animals died (mostly fish) and 24 kilometres along the streams La Lizama and Caño Muerto, and waters of the Sogamoso river, were contaminated.

The strongest images of the costly environmental tragedy were starred by the animal species that were trapped in the oil slick that drained through the water sources and that covered a large area of the vegetable layer in the area.

Given this, in an unprecedented event in emergency response caused by the oil industry in this region of the country, which was one hundred years of operation, it became the response that was taken in the rescue of the affected fauna.

This work to safeguard the lives of animals has been led by Cabildo Verde, an organization that for 29 years has worked for the conservation of the environment in the Magdalena Medio region, and that for this purpose it installed a reception centre in the area. the individuals.

Until the second week of May, 6,622 animals had been saved, of which 6,534 are free.

The biologist Miguel Bacca indicated that the intervention started on March 16, the day he began with his colleagues in Cabildo Verde an assessment of the health of each animal rescued in the area of the event to see what kind of attention they required.

Once recovered, they were released in a place outside the area of the problem. In this case, they were taken to the area of the basin of La Gómez creek, in the municipality of Sabana de Torres, where the organization has a natural reserve area of 630 hectares that has the same environmental conditions of biodiversity in the area. of the contingency.

The species have been marked so that in the future they can be located and moved to their place of origin.

According to the biologist, after having passed the critical stage began a new phase of extraction and not in volume but selective animals, after being assessed and treated, they will be returned to the area where they were found, where Ecopetrol alternately and advances work of cleaning of water sources and contaminated plant material.

This Is How Animals Are Recovered After An Oil Spill

According to the expert, the idea is to identify the health conditions of the specimens, have more objective values such as blood chemistry, and after monitoring know about the effect that the oil could have on them and their capacity for resilience and recovery in their own environment.

“The search will be set on animals that have evidence of oil consequences, will be removed from the area to be treated, marked and returned to the site to assess how they will be recovering along with the ecosystem. An important factor of study will be the reproductive one, explained Bacca.

The animals that will be the object of study correspond to representative species of the populations that have been rescued the most, among them amphibians and reptiles.


Source: El Tiempo