Birds Die Bleeding From Their Eyes And Beaks After Suspected 'Poisoning'
The dead birds, from the cockatoo family, were discovered on Wednesday after the fell to the ground from the sky and from trees.
Many of the birds were long-billed corella birds, a protected type of cockatoo, with three of them being non-protected short-billed corellas.
Some of the birds were already dead before rescuers could get to them, but many of them were writhing around on the floor gushing with blood in scenes that those who arrived at the scene compared to a "horror movie".
The 60 birds were taken to two veterinarians after they were discovered at One Tree Hill, Adelaide. However, only two survived as 58 of the birds died.
Sarah King, the founder of Casper's Bird Rescue, told The Guardian that a staff member called her to inform her that the white cockatoos were "literally falling out of the trees in front of him, falling out of the sky".
She said: "When he got there, he rang me, really distressed, and said there were more than he could handle,
"Only two or three were actually deceased. The rest were just screaming on the ground. They couldn't fly any more, they were bleeding out of their mouths...What we were seeing was something out of a horror movie."
King also told the BBC: "The birds weren't able to fly and were lying on the ground wailing in pain. Some birds were bleeding out of their mouth,"
"That immediately made us think of poisoning, which we've seen before."
The rescuers believe that the birds were intentionally poisoned in such a way that means the birds suffer for weeks before they eventually die in this fashion.
Ms King said that the type of poison she believes was used to kill the birds inflicts a "horrific slow death" on the poor creatures.
She continued: "It's not an instant death. It causes suffering. It takes a few weeks for it to work. It starts internally and they have internal bleeding. It is a horrific, slow death.
"[And] the birds that have been affected are the protected species of the long-bill corella. It is an important fact to get out there. Of the 60-odd that we found, only three were the non-protected species.
"This isn't the way to deal with anything. It's also against the law."
The species has been threatened before because they are known for destroying crops and street lights. Anyone found guilty could be liable to a fine or even jail time.
The South Australian Department for Environment and Water said that disease and toxin testing is underway but the cause of the poisoning has not yet been identified.
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