The condition of the five little blue penguins and two pied shags in the care of the Wildlife Response Centre in Te Maunga is improving.
They were found on Friday covered in fuel oil that has leaked from the container ship stranded on Astrolabe Reef since Wednesday.
This oil covered penguin’s natural colour is white with a blue back.
Treatment for the birds involves being washed in 40 degree water several times.
Wildlife Response Centre Director Brett Gartrell says this is stressful for the penguins and only a person trained to give the wash should attempt it.
People who find oil covered wildlife washed up on beaches, or in the water, are asked not to handle the animals.
They are asked to contact the Wildlife Response Centre by phoning 0800 333 771 to enable the experts to mobilise and safely attend to the animals.
The wash is a sensitive hand held operation.
It requires a medium pressure water blast.
The centre has enjoyed considerable public support with more than 100 people attending a volunteer training session today.
Wildlife Response Centre team member Jim Lilley was not expecting this turnout.
“It’s absolutely awesome, the community spirit, and I hope it will keep pace.”
Volunteers at the Wildlife Response Centre training day today.
Centre spokesperson Kerri Morgan says her team is functioning well with 60 people out on the frontline; four teams on Motiti Island, three boat teams on the water and nine teams on the beaches with 20 responders at the centre.
No animals were found coated in oil today.
The ship, Rena, is continuing to leak and today emergency responders revealed there is estimated to be about 10 tonnes of oil in the sea.
The slick stretches about 5km.
Wildlife Response Centre: 0800 333 771
Baukje Lenting and Brett Gartrell wash a penguin.