Thousands of cranes killed by bird flu in ‘worst blow to wildlife’ in Israel’s history
An outbreak of avian flu has resulted in the death of more than 5,000 migratory cranes in Israel. The bird flu outbreak has prompted authorities to declare a popular nature reserve off-limits to visitors to encourage the cranes to seek refuge undisturbed. Officials also warned of a possible egg shortage as poultry birds are culled as a precaution. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly met with his national security advisor and other experts to discuss what actions to take to contain the outbreak. No human transmission has been reported so far, however, it is possible.
Israeli media reported that children who had visited the reserve may have touched a crane and contributed to the spread of the flu, however, this has not been confirmed. Environment Minister Tamar Zandberg declared the events the worst blow to wildlife in Israel’s history. Rangers in hazardous material suits retrieved thousands of crane carcasses from the lake at the Hula Nature Reserve and outlying marshes.