Corella deaths mystery
Tuesday, 16th February, 2010
North Broken Hill residents awoke to a troubling sight on Saturday morning as numerous sick and dying corellas fell from the sky. Residents in several north locations contacted the Rescue and Rehabilitation of Australian Native Animals (RRANA) group to report the strange event, and began rounding up the birds.
RRANA Publicity Officer Lindy Hunt said the wildlife group's volunteers arrived to find the birds in a very groggy state and incapable of flight. Ms Hunt said RRANA volunteers faced a difficult task in trying to save the birds, who continued to fall ill throughout the day.
"When we got there, there were six dead birds, and another 12 that were collected that were still alive... but we received more birds after the initial influx. "As we were collecting them a bird just fell to the ground right in front of us. It was awful, it was very distressing."
By the end of the day 31 birds were reported ill, 17 of which died due to illness or having to be euthanased. Local veterinarian Guillaume Tabuteau performed a post mortem on some of the birds, and tissue samples have been sent away for analysis to determine if the birds were poisoned.
Corellas are protected fauna, and anyone who has any information relating to the event can contact National Parks and Wildlife on 8080 3200.
Anyone who finds an injured native animal is asked to contact RRANA on 0429 204 416.