Tugboat sinking takes toll on wildlife

This oil-soaked Canada Goose was found by photographer Ross Dobson around 7 a.m. June 23, 2015 along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River near the site of a tugboat sinking. (Photo/Ross Dobson)

CORNWALL/AKWESASNE – The hydraulic fluid and diesel spill from a tugboat appears to have taken its toll on wildlife.

Ross Dobson came across an oil-soaked Canada Goose shortly before 7 a.m. this morning near the site of the barge at the north channel bridge.

In an email to Cornwall Newswatch, Dobson said he didn’t perform any wider search of the area but it was the only bird he found in an oiled state.

Dobson said the bird was still in the area as of 1 p.m. Tuesday and was not moving that much, other than shuffling about 10 yards into thicker grass. He says the goose was preening its feathers.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Environment had said last night the case was being handled by Transport Canada and they wouldn’t be sending anyone to the scene.

MOE spoke with Cornwall Newswatch prior to the second tugboat sinking so it’s not known whether the situation has changed.

A call to the MOE for clarification has not been returned.

The OSPCA is looking into the case and is expected to relay more information to Cornwall Newswatch this afternoon.

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