October 27, 2010 2:05 pm

Syncrude says dead bird count now 350 at oilsands pond, asks scientists for help

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EDMONTON – Syncrude Canada now estimates at least 350 birds have died after landing on one of its toxic tailings ponds in northern Alberta.

And the oilsands giant’s president is calling on scientists to help Syncrude find ways to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Scott Sullivan says Syncrude had fully deployed its system of sound cannons and other deterrents that usually prevent ducks and other waterfowl from landing in the toxic water.

Sullivan says Syncrude is working with the Alberta government to determine what went wrong on Monday when the birds landed on its Mildred Lake Basin.

The company originally estimated that 125 birds had died.

On Friday, Syncrude agreed to pay more than $3 million in penalties after being found guilty of Alberta and federal wildlife charges in the deaths of 1,600 ducks in 2008.

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