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  • R-Day pigeons suffer from disease

    Sick pigeons take shine off Republic Day march-past

    Many of the ?symbols of peace? flopped to the ground, struggling to fly. Some had already died by the time wildlife volunteers came to the rescue. Animal activists are livid, and want a ban on the practice of releasing pigeons at official functions

    Chetan R

    Posted On Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:03:10 AM

    Organisers of the Republic Day celebrations at the Manekshaw Parade grounds on Thursday cut a sorry figure when the traditional practice of releasing pigeons ? the symbol of peace, freedom and all that is noble ? turned a complete fiasco. Most of the birds just flopped to the ground and struggled to fly.

    The birds were released by school children in full view of the dignitaries, including governor HR Bhardwaj and chief minister Sadananda Gowda. ?Vande Mataram? played in the background and, while a few birds flew away, around 20 others just tumbled to the ground. The programme continued without a pause.

    Sources claim the flock of homing pigeons was bought from Russell Market at a heavy discount ? Rs 100 for a pair ? because the birds were unhealthy and physically impaired. A pair of healthy pigeons costs Rs 700.

    ...

    http://www.bangaloremirror.com/index...0319666f6e6124

    ?R-Day pigeons suffer from disease?

    Although its a common strain, wildlife experts are wary of the disease spreading to other animals and are taking no chances

    Chetan R

    Posted On Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 04:44:56 AM

    Despite great efforts to nurse the birds back to health, two more of the diseased pigeons, that were released during Republic Day celebrations at the Manekshaw grounds, died within 24 hours of being rescued. Sick pigeons take shine off Republic Day march-past
    Ten birds were rescued by wildlife volunteers from the BBMP?s forest cell after they had flopped to the ground. The birds, purchased from Russell Market at a substantial discount, were unhealthy and were unable to fly. Experts say the birds suffer from a strain of avian influenza and are taking every precaution to ensure the virus does not spread.

    ?Our volunteers are in shock as we lost two more pigeons out of the 10 rescued on Thursday,? Sharath R Babu, honorary wildlife warden, Bangalore Urban said. ?It seems most them are suffering from a strain of avian influenza. It?s a disease which afflicts birds kept at Russell Market. The strains of flu differ greatly and while this is a common strain among pigeons from Russell Market, we are not taking any chances as it could spread.?

    Said Rajesh M, a wildlife expert, ?The flu can spread to other animals. For example if a dog eats an infected bird, the dog too could get infected. So the birds will be buried with lime and salt to ensure the virus does not spread.?

    While some birds flew away, at least 20 of the pigeons released during the celebrations just flopped to the ground where they struggled to fly. VVIPs, including the chief minister and the governor were witness to the fiasco. Some of the birds had broken wings, while others had turned blind.

    ?The flu causes the birds to become weak,? an expert said. ?Because of the weakness they don?t have the energy to fly. Infected birds also gradually turn blind and if left untreated, they die.?

    BBMP wildlife volunteers say that sending these birds for a flu test would not be necessary as the strain is common. But ensuring the survival of the infected birds is a hard task.
    ...

    Infected birds also gradually turn blind and if left untreated, they die

    http://www.bangaloremirror.com/artic...%E2%80%99.html
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.
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