Hundreds of galahs mysteriously found dead in Burra
About 200 galahs have been found dead in the South Australian town of Burra, prompting investigations by the state’s Department for Environment and Water and the local council.
- About 200 galahs found dead in Burra in SA’s Mid North
- Birds otherwise looked healthy and weren’t “grain gorging”
- State Government and council investigating
Dead birds started turning up in the historic Mid North town last Wednesday, with numbers increasing to about 200 by Monday, according to Animal Rescue and Care co-ordinator Ruth Norris.
A Facebook post featuring some of the deceased creatures by Ms Norris has been shared more than 1,600 times.
She said the birds otherwise looked healthy and it was not obvious how they had died.
“We’re wondering whether someone has put some poison down inadvertently — a fertiliser, poison, or whether it was an actual purposeful poisoning, I don’t know,” Ms Norris told the ABC.
“We’re hoping to send some off to PIRSA [Primary Industries and Regions SA] or a lab to get tested.
“Apart from that, they all appear adult and healthy.”
They were all found in a small area around the old courthouse and police house lockup, on Sancreed Street, in North Burra — an area where galahs tend to congregate.
Ms Norris said this meant it was unlikely they had died from gorging on germinating seeds from local farms.
In that case, dead birds would have been found in a much larger area.
A necropsy she did revealed very little grain in their stomachs.
“They’ve got good body condition so it’s not a weather event, it’s not a disease, it appears to be a very unusual event or even suspicious,” she said.
Cats and dogs which had touched the galahs had not become sick, she said.