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Dec 24, 2014

Pity the birds - pity Bangladesh

Photo: Zuma / Rex Features
A kingfisher (above) is washed with water to remove oil from its feathers after the Southern Star VII tanker collided with another ship and spilled thousands of litres of furnace oil into the Shela River, in the Sundarban mangrove forest in Bangladesh.   The collision occured on December 14th.   The Sundarban Forest is one of the world's largest mangrove forests and early reports said that 34,000 hectares of the fragile ecosytem had been affected by the spilled oil.   Bangladesh is hard pressed to supply the expertise and equipment to deal with an environmental disaster such as this.   The UN has now intervened in dealing with the aftermath.   It is not just birds endangered by the spill, but rare river dolphins and hundreds of tigers, as well as huge numbers of fish.   While the oil spill occurred in central Bangladesh, its effect, if not dealt with quickly, could reach all the way to the Bay of Bengal, in the Indian Ocean.   
Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Photo by Khairul Alam / Asociated Press
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