Thousands of cranes killed by bird flu – Israel

An outbreak of avian flu has killed more than 5,000 migratory cranes in Israel, prompting authorities to declare a popular nature reserve off-limits to visitors and warn of a possible egg shortage as poultry birds are culled as a precaution. In addition to the 5200 dead, another 10000 are believed to be infected.

“This is the worst blow to wildlife in the country’s history,” Environment Minister Tamar Zandberg tweeted as rangers in hazardous material suits collected carcasses of the cranes from the lake at the Hula Nature Reserve and outlying marshes. Hundreds of thousands of chickens had been culled, she said.

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