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

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...