Ducks in various locations around Canada have had to be euthanized recently after landing in polluted oil tailing ponds, Canadian authorities reported.
Officials stated that roughly 230 birds landed in a Syncrude tailing pond in Alberta on Monday, and came in contact with toxic extraction byproducts which necessitated euthanizing them.
Similar incidents occurred on Tuesday in facilities owned by Shell and Suncor.
A “small number of oiled birds” were euthanized on the advice of Alberta fish and wildlife authorities, Suncor officials announced, while Shell reported finding two dead birds and two other oiled birds in its tailing pond.
“We are cooperating fully with regulators and are working to minimize waterfowl losses,” Scott Sullivan, Syncrude president and CEO, said in a statement. “This is very unfortunate, especially given the significant efforts we have taken to improve our deterrent system.”
The deaths of the ducks at Syncrude’s pond came just days after Syncrude agreed to pay a $3 million penalty for the deaths of 1,600 ducks in another tailings pond in April 2008, CBC News reported.
A spokesman for Greenpeace said the industry should stop using tailings ponds.
“The fact is that these toxic tailings lakes pose an ongoing threat, not just to bird populations but to animals and to downstream communities as well,” Greenpeace Alberta campaigner Mike Hudema said.