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Dead fish, crabs wash up; birds fall from the sky

Friday 7 Jan 2011 11:45 a.m.

Rescue chief Christer Olofsson with one of the dead birds in Falkoping (Reuters)

Rescue chief Christer Olofsson with one of the dead birds in Falkoping (Reuters)

Dead fish and crabs are washing up on beaches and birds are falling from the sky. What’s next?

Kentucky wildlife officials say several hundred dead birds have been found dead in the western part of the state.

The grackles, red wing blackbirds, robins and starlings were found last week.

New Year's Eve fireworks have been blamed for the deaths of thousands of blackbirds in central Arkansas. Another 450 birds died this week in Louisiana, likely after hitting power lines or cars.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Marraccini says someone called police about the discovery in Kentucky, and they alerted state officials.

Marraccini says tests performed on the birds ruled out diseases or poisons. He said the deaths could have been caused by weather or another natural event.

Meanwhile, officials say about 50 birds have been found dead on a street in Sweden.

Veterinarian Robert ter Horst says the cause of jackdaws' deaths was unclear, but that fireworks were set off near the scene.

Ter Horst says cold weather, difficulties finding food and possible shock from the fireworks could be responsible, leading to the stressed birds either dying from the stress or being run over by vehicles.

Five of the dead jackdaws found in the city of Falkoping are being tested.

Nearly 300 dead doves were also found in Faenza, Italy, this week.

Mass bird deaths are not uncommon.

State officials in Maryland are investigating the death of an estimated 2 million fish in Chesapeake Bay. Cold temperatures are the suspected culprit, rather than water quality problems.

According to environmental experts, cold weather is also to blame for over 40,000 dead crabs that have washed up along the coast in Britain.

The Velvet Swimming Crabs - also called Devil Crabs - were found dead in beaches around Thanet in Kent along with smaller numbers of whelks, sponges and anemones, The Daily Mail reported.

A further 100 tonnes of fish – sardines, croaker and catfish – have turned up dead off the coast of Parana, Brazil. The cause of their deaths remains unknown.

More than 150 tonnes of red tilapias died over the Christmas period in Vietnam.

Red tilapias are the world's most popular farmed fish. They are fast growing and low in mercury.

It is the first time such a disaster has occurred.

3 News / AP

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