Anxious residents of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius stuffed fabric sacks with sugar cane leaves on Saturday to create makeshift oil spill barriers as tons of fuel leaking from a grounded ship put endangered wildlife in further peril.
The government has declared an environmental emergency and France said it was sending help from its nearby Reunion island. Satellite images showed a dark slick spreading in the turquoise waters near wetlands that the government called “very sensitive.”
“When biodiversity is in peril, there is urgency to act,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted Saturday.
Wildlife workers and volunteers ferried dozens of baby tortoises and rare plants from an island near the spill, Ile aux Aigrettes, to the mainland as fears grew that worsening weather on Sunday could tear the Japanese-owned ship apart along its cracked hull.
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