California Oil Spill Has Deadly Effect on Wildlife

Birds were found covered in oil on the Refugio beach.

— -- Two days after a ruptured pipeline leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil off the California shore, wildlife -- including pelicans -- have been found coated in oil with one bird found dead on the beach.

At least one bird was found dead on the beach even as teams from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for injured animals. According to the department at least 272 people are taking part in the clean-up effort.

On Facebook the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response said they have sent at least five pelicans to rehabilitation centers. At least two pelicans in total have been found dead after the spill, according to the Associated Press.

The oil leak was first reported around noon on Tuesday in southern California. The pipeline was built in 1991 by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, which said it shut down the flow of oil.

"Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” the company said in an earlier statement.