Veterinarians from the Smithsonian's National Zoo are heading to the Gulf Coast to oversee the release of wildlife recovering from the oil spill into safer areas.
A zoo spokeswoman says four veterinarians will work from Louisiana for the next eight weeks. They are focused primarily on how to release birds that have been cleaned or nursed back to health following the spill. More than 1,000 oiled birds have been rescued since April.
Federal officials asked for the zoo's expertise to find safe areas for the wildlife. The Smithsonian has several conservation centers including Virginia, Panama and Kenya.
In the Gulf, zoo staff will be working with veterinarians from the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.