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Horrible death

Saturday, 29th December, 2018

Barbara Hands with some of the corellas found dead. PICTURE: Supplied Barbara Hands with some of the corellas found dead. PICTURE: Supplied

By Emily McInerney

Dead and dying corellas were found at Sturt Park on Thursday night and one local group suspects it could be due to the heat and lack of water.

Animal welfare group RRANA received the first of several calls alerting them to the dead birds in the park about 8.15pm.

One distressed caller exclaimed “another one’s just fallen out of a tree”, as she was trying to give the exact location to a volunteer.

RRANA also advises people to not keep the bird or give it any food or water. 

RRANA’s bird co-ordinator, Barbara Hands, said five RRANA volunteers were there within minutes to help and, with assistance from a couple of members of the public, collected 10 dead and five live birds.  

One died before it was put into the rescuer’s vehicle. Two have since been euthanised and two look like they may make it, with a lot of care.

“We’ve disposed of the ones that died overnight,” Ms Hands said yesterday.

“We won’t know what exactly happened until we get more testing.

“The Office of Environment have collected the birds for testing.”

Ms Hands said the birds might have been accidentally poisoned.

“We suspect there was a poisoning component. I don’t think it was deliberate.

“They may have eaten something toxic or accessed rotten water.

“I also think the heat was a component. So there were a number of factors at play.”

Ms Hands said RRANA saw a similar incident in July 2016 but there were a lot more dead birds.

“There were over 50 birds then and they kept dying in the days after.

“We haven’t received any more calls so, hopefully, it won’t be as bad.”

Ms Hands is nursing two of the corellas back from the brink.

“They suffered really badly, it was a horrible thing to attend.

“The birds were distressed and gurgling; it was really awful.

“We’re rehydrating the other two. They were both thirsty.

“We had mist on them until about 10pm on Thursday night. It’s just about keeping them damp and cool.”

Ms Hands said she was impressed with the calls from concerned locals and the efforts from the group.

“Everyone available turned up, it was a good group effort.

“The members of public who reported it, it was really lovely to see their concern.”

She said the two recovering corellas will be kept until the heat passes.

“I will keep them for the next few days and keep them hydrated and fed.

“Then I will release from my home. I have Corellas fly over each day, so I will do it then.”

Ms Hands said her aviary was full at the moment and she hoped the two corellas will recover.

She said businesses and residents near Sturt Park may find more dead or sick birds and, if so, they should take them to the RSPCA or the Broken Hill Veterinary Clinic as soon as possible.

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