Dead birds prompt investigation

April 22, 2009 6:22:39 PM PDT
HazMat crews responded to Fort Baker Wednesday after a hazardous substance killed several birds.

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Officials have identified an unknown substance found at Fort Baker Wednesday as paint and now say it was not responsible for 11 dead birds found nearby.

Mike Feinstein of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area says they are investigating how the bucket of paint got there. He says the birds, mostly cormorants, died from something else.

Around 11:50 a.m. the Presidio Fire Department received a report of a suspicious bucket emitting fumes near the U.S. Coast Guard station at Fort Baker.

Children at the Bay Area Discovery Museum were sheltered in place then taken home by their parents. Coast Guardsmen in the area were temporarily ordered to shelter-in-place. The Discovery Museum and a nearby lodge were closed for the day.

Last week, the nearby International Bird Rescue Center was accepting injured cormorants and high winds were being blamed for many of them getting injured.

No injuries to humans were reported. The incident is under investigation.

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