Bird flu outbreak kills 2,000 cranes in Israel

Published December 27, 2021
Gray Cranes fly above the northern Israeli Hula valley, an important point on their migratory path towards Africa. — AFP
Gray Cranes fly above the northern Israeli Hula valley, an important point on their migratory path towards Africa. — AFP

JERUSALEM: A bird flu outbreak has killed more than 2,000 wild cranes on a reserve in northern Israel, an unusually high toll for the seasonal flu, the parks authority said on Sunday.

In addition to the 2,000 dead, another 10,000 are believed to be infected, Ohad Hatsofe, a specialist at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, said.

The virus affects Israel annually, but this year’s outbreak is much larger than previous years, said Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the authority. Naveh described the number of dead cranes as “exceptional”.

Like every year, roughly 100,000 wild cranes reached Israel since October, most stopping in the Hula Valley, an important point on their migratory path towards Africa.

More than 40,000 cranes are estimated to have remained in the area.

The avian flu ravaging the population, H5N1, has been detected in some chicken populations in northern Israel, Israel’s agriculture ministry said.

The ministry has suspended egg sales from affected farms.

It is rare for H5N1 to spread among humans, but there have been past outbreaks.

According to the World Health Organisation H5N1 has killed more than 450 people, mainly in Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam, since 2003.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Updated 19 May, 2022

To be or not to be

The same decision taken weeks or months from now will have far more devastating consequences.
19 May, 2022

Impact on Punjab

THE Supreme Court judgement interpreting the issue of disqualification of parliamentarians under Article 63A of the...
19 May, 2022

Forest fires

THOUGH spot and forest fires have become a perennial phenomenon especially in peak summer, the recent blazes —...
18 May, 2022

SC on defections

THE judgement is monumental and will significantly influence Pakistani politics for years to come. After a nearly...
18 May, 2022

Karachi blast

THE frequency of urban terrorism incidents over the past few weeks in Karachi should send alarm bells ringing within...
18 May, 2022

Threats to Imran Khan

IT seems there is never a dull moment in Imran Khan’s life. First, it was a cabal of local and international...