Dead animals are piling up in refrigerated trailers on the coast as officials collect evidence of the vast damage caused by the oil spilled from the tanker Exxon Valdez.
The carcasses of 22,818 migratory birds, 733 sea otters and 51 birds of prey, most of them bald eagles, had been collected, tagged and stored by Tuesday at four coastal cities."It's a morbid milestone we have reached this week; more than two months after the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, we are still counting its victims," said Walter Stieglitz, Alaska regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The gooey fingers of the spill have drifted more than 500 miles from Prince William Sound across the Gulf of Alaska and beyond Kodiak Island. About 11 million gallons of oil spilled from gashes in the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground March 24.