On Thursday, the BP oil spill became the largest ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico, and also surpassed the previous international record for an offshore oil spill during peacetime. The spill, which began after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, has now exceeded the 140.6 million gallon mark, making it the largest spill since the Ixtoc drilling rig gushed 140 million gallons off the Gulf Coast from 1979 to 1980. Currently, the US government estimates at least 71.7 million gallons of oil have seeped into the Gulf. While solutions and aid efforts intensify, marine and coastal wildlife continue to suffer. Animal advocates from groups such as International Bird Rescue Research Center and People Protecting Animals & Their Habitats are working tirelessly to help rescue and save animals.