Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are trying to solve the mystery of why more than 100 birds have been found dead. Many were discovered on the shoreline of East Bay but a number of them were also seen in Foster City.
In both locations, the birds were covered in a mysterious goo. Several deceased birds were sent to Sacramento for testing. Meanwhile, additional goo-coated birds have been taken to a mobile facility in Hayward where a syringe with warm water is administered to them.
International Bird Rescue's Mark Russell commented, "They can't warm themselves in the water because when the stuff gets on their feathers it disables them from being waterproof. It's in the feathers and then the water gets to the skin." As a result, they often die from hypothermia.
In order to remove the substance, a chemical agent is used on the birds and they are coated in vinegar and baking soda. Water and dish soap help to clean them. The so-called goo is grey in color with dark spots.
Although it remains unclear where the goo came from, experts have been able to determine that it's not petroleum-based.