Researchers grope in obscurity about massive starvation deaths in Haagse park

Researchers and the De Wulp bird shelter in The Hague are groping about the sudden death of some 270 starlings in Huijgenspark in The Hague. For the past two weeks, dozens of dead starlings have regularly been found under the trees in the park, near Hollands Spoor station.


Researchers and the De Wulp bird shelter in The Hague are groping about the sudden death of some 270 starlings in Huijgenspark in The Hague. For the past two weeks, dozens of dead starlings have regularly been found under the trees in the park, near Hollands Spoor station.

Studies at various laboratories, such as the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research laboratory in Lelystad and university laboratories in Utrecht, Ghent and Rotterdam, have not provided any conclusive information about the cause.

"We can now only exclude that it is a virus, such as the usutuvirus or the West Nile virus," says Sharon Lexmond, head of bird care at De Wulp.

The starlings only die in a very limited area. Lexmond therefore does not exclude poisoning. The starlings are numerous and make a lot of noise according to local residents, she explains.

Lexmond has now settled her hopes on a living starling that was brought in by the animal ambulance at the bird sanctuary on Thursday morning. The result of blood tests with this starling is expected in a week.

ref: nunl

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