Cordon at Stanley Park lake to be lifted soon as swans fight back against deadly bird flu

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The lake in Blackpool’s award-winning Stanley Park is expected to reopen soon  after almost two months in quarantine.

 

The lake was cordoned off on Monday, November 11, following a suspected outbreak of bird flu amid a national surge in reports of the disease.

Two swans and one Canada goose were believed to have died there due to bird flu, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs later confirmed the diagnosis.

By November 25, 17 birds were dead, with Blackpool Council warning that three more swans living in the park were showing symptoms.

The lake should be reopened soon

The lake should be reopened soon

Four more birds died in December, raising the total death toll to 21, with swans making up the vast majority of victims.

Almost 30 per cent of the total swan population was wiped out, with numbers falling from 68 in early November to just 48 one month later.

Hope is on the horizon, however, as the council has said that no suspected bird flu deaths have been reported in the park since December 20 – and that the closure of the lake will soon be lifted.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “No dead swans have been found since December 20, as a result the cordon is likely to be removed soon, however we do not have an exact timescale on this.

“We’re very appreciative the public’s patience and support on this matter.”

Last month, animal rescue volunteers called on members of the public not to ignore the warning signs in place around the lake, as doing so could risk spreading the disease, which does not usually infect humans.

However, a 79-year-old Devon man was diagnosed with the disease last week, after catching it from ducks he kept inside his home.

The grandfather is the first ever human in the UK to be diagnosed with the disease, which has only been recorded 1,000 times in people globally since it emerged in the late 1990s.