Cyprus Mail

Greens not convinced by authorities’ explanations over dead flamingos

One of the dead flamingos at Larnaca salt lake

The Green Party on Sunday said they were not convinced by the government services’ explanations that it was lead poisoning and the cold that led to the deaths of around 20 flamingo birds in the Larnaca salt lake.

The dead birds were found on Saturday with authorities saying their deaths were exacerbated by the cold weather. The Game and Fauna service said the stress from the cold along with potential lead poisoning could have accelerated the death of the birds.

But the Green Party on Sunday said they were not convinced by this explanation calling for a probe on whether sewerage waste and other liquids from pipelines in the area end up in the salt lake.

The head of the Game and Fauna Fund, Pantelis Hadjiyerou, said on Saturday lead pellets found in their stomachs caused their deaths. He said they could have been poisoned by lead pellets left in the salt lake, following the shutdown of a shooting range, but they could also have been infected from another region in the world, as flamingos are migratory birds.

The party said Hadjiyerou’s explanations raised more questions since the shooting range was moved some 15 years ago while the salt lake bed had been thoroughly cleaned at the time.

It also recalled that two government ministers gave reassurances to the head of the party a few weeks ago that there was no poisoning risk for the birds from the lead contained in pellets and the material shooting discs are made of.

The argument that the flamingos could have been poisoned with lead from another region “is completely baseless” the party said, recalling that the same argument was voiced in 2003 on a similar occasion but was later proven wrong by facts.

The party said they feel the Game and Fauna service downplayed the case and expect for the results of analyses of the salt lake mud made over the years to be made public as a proof that there is no lead poisoning risk.

They also expect to see the results of the histological analysis of the dead flamingos, they said.

Hadjiyerou said on Saturday the deaths were not particularly concerning, as approximately so many flamingos die each year.

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