The number of birds that have died of suspected bird flu at Stanley Park has risen – and it is feared further deaths loom on the horizon, as a number of swans there are now showing symptoms of the disease.
Two swans are reported to have died at the award-winning Blackpool park since Monday, November 22, taking the total death count to 17.
Another three swans living on the lake were found to be showing symptoms of bird flu, according to a Council meeting at Blackpool town hall yesterday.
A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “This of course continues to be upsetting for so many people who love Stanley Park and our wildlife but people can be reassured that we are monitoring the situation closely.”
Five more swans have died in Stanley Park since Monday, November 22
Stanley Park lake was cordoned off on Monday, November 11, after two swans and one Canada goose were believed to have died there due to bird flu. The birds were sent to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which confirmed the diagnosis.
So far, the outbreak is believed to have wiped out arounf 25 per cent of Stanley Park’s swan population. A swan count carried out on November 6 listed 68 swans living on the lake. Now, just 52 remain.
Justin Greenhalgh, of Brambles Wildlife Rescue, said: “Bird flu is absolutely rife this year; probably the worst we have seen. It’s not just Stanley Park, it’s all over.
“The council has had quite a grim task this week. It has been hard. All we can do is plead with people to comply with the cordon rules to ease the spread.”
People have been asked by council chiefs to avoid the lake, and to steer clear of any dead or injured birds.
People who would otherwise feed the swans, but are now unable to do so because of the restrictions, have the option to donate supplement feed to be distributed by the council by contacting the Brambles Wildlife Rescue Facebook page.