Local News

Cleanup continues at Halifax bird sanctuary

Posted May 13, 2008

— Environmental cleanup crews will be at Halifax County's Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park for at least the remainder of the week following a spill Monday of thousands of gallons of oil from two tankers at a nearby lumber mill.

Workers at the bird sanctuary noticed oil in wetlands on the property Monday morning and have searched the area looking for wildlife in need of rescue.

About a half-dozen wild birds, turtles and other animals in the wetlands were being cleaned and treated Tuesday; a number of frogs were found dead.

None of the birds in captivity were harmed, officials said.

Investigators still are not sure how the oil was spilled from the abandoned tankers but have questioned three people about the spill and are looking into the possibility that it might be criminal.

Wildlife officials are concerned about how oil in the wetlands could affect the educational programs they conduct.

If more oil gets in, directors say they will have to close the wetlands to the public, and that would mean financial repercussions.


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  • watsonboys May 14, 2008

    Sylvan Heights is such a wonderful place. My children love to go see the birds. My oldest son has a fieldtrip there tomorrow. It has grown so much over the years. As a Scotland Neck resident I hope they get the men behind this awful mess!! The guys were trying to steel the oil tanks for scrap metal.

  • Just a thought May 14, 2008

    It is such a shame to see this happen, and I truely hope the authorities find out the root cause of all this and act accordingly. Sylvan Heights is the most amazing place to visit and learn about waterfowl from all over the world. I hope the work Dan and his collegues have been putting into the wetland area will still be able to go on.

  • Doctor Dataclerk May 13, 2008

    This is sad because it will adversely affect a neat facility and it's operations and it is also sad because the pinheads from DEHNR will turn this into the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

  • If the shoe fits.... May 13, 2008

    I hear Sylvan Heights is a surprisingly interesting place to visit - clean for the family, lots of colorful waterfowl from around the world, but I have not been myself - yet - maybe this summer. The attraction has been a real plus for Scotland Neck.
    I hope WRAL readers will support it - and Halifax Co's weak economy - with a day's outing to Sylvan Heights during the summer and fall months ahead. Luckily, it does not sound as though the site itself has been seriously affected, but a creek upstream and gradually flowing into the site. Beautiful and historic Trinity Church and Sunnyside Cemetery sit between the old lumber yard (where the oil tanks are located?) and the bird park.

  • pantheelsfan May 13, 2008

    I hope they get this cleaned up because this is such a nice place to visit.. I carried my 2 yr old grandson there and he loved it. Good Luck with clean up.