Officials: Cause Of The Deaths Poses No Danger To Humans
By Nathan Johnson
The Press Dakotan
It is estimated that more than 200 dead starlings were found in downtown Yankton Monday. However, it is not believed the deaths pose a threat to humans.
Yankton Animal Control Officer Lisa Brasel estimated that she collected 200 starlings Monday, and employees of the city Parks and Recreation Department were also on the scene picking up deceased birds. The total number of corpses gathered up by city employees has not yet been compiled.
“I talked to one of the local vets, and they said there is nothing wrong (with the birds),” said Brasel, who took specimens to a veterinary office. “They just didn’t migrate and are dying. I was going to call the South Dakota Department of Health to see what they have to say about it, but they are closed today (because of Martin Luther King Day).”
The birds were found around trees on the north side of Riverside Park, as well as on the north side of Second Street between Capitol and Pine streets.
The mass bird death in Yankton comes on the heels of other large animal kill-offs around the world that have people buzzing. Many began taking notice when, on New Year’s Eve, an estimated 5,000 blackbirds dropped dead in Beebe, Ark. Since then, reports of more bird deaths, as well as those of crabs, cows and fish, have come in from around the world. Some of the incidents have been attributed to pedestrian causes — birds colliding with objects and each other after a fireworks display, or cows with a virus — while others await explanation.
Some of the more creative accounts have the deaths related to secretive government experiments or, for those familiar with the movie “2012” and many books with similar apocalyptic predictions, the supposed end of the world.