DAKAR, 28 January 2021 – At least 750 pelicans have been found dead at a world heritage site in northern Senegal, bird watchers confirmed Thursday from Dakar, Senegal’s capital.
The dead birds which were found dead over the weekend at the Djoudji Bird Sanctuary on the northern part of Senegal, were quickly incinerated as a precaution.
The sanctuary is a resting place for birds that cross the Sahara Desert into West Africa each year.
It has been closed to visitors until further notice while an investigation is conducted.
“We took some samples for screening and we hope in the near future to know what caused the death of the pelicans,” said Senegal’s director of parks Bocar Thiam.
Bird watchers in the West African nation say millions of the migratory birds show up and take residence or briefly sojourn at the site every year.
Up to 350 species of birds live in the sanctuary but only pelicans were found dead, according to Thiam.
The birds are fish eaters and the slow waves of the ocean in the Dakar peninsular provide an ideal feeding stop for the birds.
Senegalese park officials have ruled out avian flu, pointing to the fact that the birds are fish-eaters.
Earlier this month, some 100,000 chickens were culled following an outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm situated over 120 miles to the south of the bird sanctuary.
Djoudj Bird Sanctuary is a remote pocket of wetland near the border with Mauritania.