Thousands of cranes have died in northern Israel as a result of bird flu
Tamar Zandberg, the Minister of Environmental Protection, described the disaster as "the most serious damage to wildlife in the country's history."
As authorities strive to contain the greatest wildlife disaster in Israel's history, a bird flu outbreak in northern Israel has killed at least 5,200 migratory cranes and caused farmers to slaughter hundreds of thousands of chickens.
The issue, according to Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the Israel Parks and Nature Authority, is not yet under control.
"Many of the birds are dead in the middle of the water body so it's difficult for them to be taken out." he said Monday.
Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg called the crisis "the most serious damage to wildlife in the history of the country." "The extent of the damage is still unclear," she tweeted.
Workers were removing the remains as swiftly as possible, according to Yaron Michaeli, a spokesman for the Hula Lake park, where the crane population is centred, for fear of infecting other species.
The Agriculture Ministry's Dafna Yurista claimed half a million hens were slaughtered in the area to prevent the sickness from spreading.
Approximately 500,000 cranes fly through Israel each year on their way to Africa, with only a small percentage remaining, according to Michaeli. This year, an estimated 30,000 cranes spent the winter in Israel.
According to Michaeli, the cranes were infected by smaller birds that came into touch with farms that were experiencing outbreaks.
Workers in white hazmat suits were photographed gathering crane carcasses after the birds were initially discovered unwell around ten days ago, according to Israeli media.
According to Michaeli, the death toll among cranes appears to have levelled off in recent days.
"This is a good sign," he said. "They might be starting to get over this. We hope very much."
Officials from the agriculture, environment, and health ministries were monitoring the situation, according to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office. It stated that there was no immediate knowledge about human illnesses.
The cleanup is going more slowly than expected. "We are trying to see if there's any other solutions," Naveh said.
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