No reports have been received on the death of any flamingos at this stage
ABOUT 30 water bird mortalities, suspected to have been caused by avian botulism, a paralytic and often fatal disease which affects both wild and captive birds, have been reported at Kamfers Dam near Kimberley.
The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development said on Friday that Kamfers Dam’s world-famous flamingos were not part of the moralities and are not affected by the matter “at this stage”.
Department spokesperson Zandisile Luphahla said that they sent a team out to remove the bird carcasses after they received information from community members about the mortalities on January 12.
“MEC Mase Manopole dispatched a team of scientists and veterinarians to the dam to ascertain the cause of the deaths,” said Luphahla.
“With the assistance of a local mining company, Ekapa, the water and tissue samples were taken by our veterinary health division for laboratory analysis and we are hoping to get results before the end of next week.
“At the moment, it is suspected that the cause of death is avian botulism. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.”
Luphahla said that only adult birds were part of the mortalities.
“All the carcasses were removed and it was established that all were adult birds and no newborn or younger birds were part of the mortalities. There were two younger birds who have been taken for testing and observation as scientists suspect that they might be infected. All other birds, including the flamingos, were all cleared and were not infected.”
Luphahla said they have requested that the area be cordoned off to the public pending the outcome of the tests.
“We had a meeting with the Sol Plaatje Municipality, where we requested that area that is accessible to the public be closed off until we have secured the results of the tests that were conducted. We are concerned about the area being accessible seeing as we received a tip-off from the public about the incident. We are currently monitoring the situation and the area.”
Luphahla called on the public not to consume any of the carcasses as it could prove fatal.