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Wildlife Seeing Effects of Oil Spill in Bay of Plenty

Maritime New Zealand via Getty Images(TAURANGA, N.Z.) -- A container ship carrying about 17-hundred tons of oil that crashed into a reef is leaking into New Zealand's environmentally sensitive Bay of Plenty.

Already birds are suffering the effects of the leaking oil in this aptly name Bay of Plenty. 

Brett Gartrell, the Director of the New Zealand Wildlife Center, spoke to ABC News.

"From tip to toe they are covered in black sticky gunk matting up all their feaths right down to the skin. They've  ingested it and they've started to get anemia, which is part of the toxic effect of the oil," Gartell said.

So far the weather has been good, although gale force winds and rough seas are expected in the coming days.  An oil extraction vessel is due on site but it will take about forty hours to remove the oil from the ship.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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