Birds often fall victim to human expansion and industrialization, and sadly, hundreds of millions are killed every year by the plate glass that covers homes and skyscrapers. Others often fall prey to unnatural development, even if our intentions are noble.
This great blue heron was found covered in oil after flying into a refinery in Southern California last month. It was transferred to the International Bird Rescue's Los Angeles facility to be washed and treated for extensive burns across 25 percent of its body.
The heron underwent surgery and required skin grafts to cover a gaping burn on its thigh. You can see more extensive photos of the procedure on the organization's website.
They're hopeful the bird will make a full recovery, but they write on their blog that herons are notoriously fickle in captivity.
Birds are often some of the first, and most visible, victims of oil spills. The creatures can easily coat themselves in sticky oil that can be exceedingly difficult to clean, and they often need to be held in captivity for a week before being rereleased into the wild.