Mystery of mass animal death epidemic deepens after 8,000 turtle doves fall dead in Italy with strange blue stain on their beaks

Friday, January 7, 2011
By Paul Martin

WIL LONGBOTTOM
UK Daily Mail
Jan 7, 2011

Thousands of dead turtle doves rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town in the latest in a growing spate of mass animal deaths across the globe.

Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks.

Initial tests on up to 8,000 of the doves indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.

A witness told www.examiner.com: ‘We have no idea why this happened all of a sudden.

‘The doves just started falling one-by-one then in groups of 10s and 20s.’

Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, is known to cause confusion and illness in animals. It is also a common precursor to altitude sickness.

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