Bird Flu fear:100s, maybe 1000s of mystery stork deaths in Thailand

Hundreds and possibly thousands of open-billed storks have died mysteriously in Ang Thong, triggering fear of a new outbreak of bird flu.

The birds were found dead in open ground behind a deserted factory by the side of the Chamlong-Nong Jik road in tambon Chamlong in Sawangha district after residents noticed that the animals looked drowsy and lay around on the ground, causing a bad stench in the air, the kamnan of Chamlong, Suebsak Waewkaew, said.

Residents alerted authorities who inspect the site twice and then went away, Mr Suebsak said. He demanded the authorities collect samples of the birds’ remains and move quickly to identify the cause of the mass deaths as residents living nearby were worried that bird flu might be involved.

Suthee Srisuwan, head of the provincial natural resources and environment office, said he had instructed experts to launch an investigation into the incident. An initial inspection had found huge numbers of dead birds in two locations. He would not elaborate further other than to say an investigation is underway.

Thursday, 26 April, 2012 at 14:44 (02:44 PM) UTC RSOE