MORE than 20 corellas have been killed and more are expected to die after being poisoned at Bushfield.
Warrnambool Wildlife Rescue and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) were called to several properties and the recreation reserve in Bushfield after calls from concerned residents.
Rescuer/carer Shannon McKay, of Warrnambool Wildlife Rescue, said one resident took a pet dog to the vet because it ate one of the dead birds.
“The majority were on a McKenzies Road property, with a couple at the oval and about 10 at a property further south along the Hopkins Highway,” Ms McKay said.
“A farmer showed me a little pile one of the birds had regurgitated and it looked like wheat, but we don’t know whether it was wheat it had already eaten or it was the wheat that had been poisoned.”
DEPI collected some of the dead birds to analyse after being notified yesterday afternoon.
Ms McKay said about 20 were dead, another 20 or so were being taken to a rescue centre to see if they could be saved, but more were looking unwell in the trees and the number of dead was likely to rise.
She said pets were also at risk if they ate the contaminated birds. “If you find a dead corella it’s best to dispose of it,” she said.
“We’re not sure what they’re poisoned with.”
Bushfield resident Barb Maher said she was dismayed by the incident after discovering a large number of birds unable to fly.
“I think it’s pretty pathetic,” she said. “The poor things. The cockatoos haven’t been a problem at all lately.
“Sometimes they come over in flocks but we haven’t heard any cockatoos for weeks.”
n If you have any information about the poisoning contact DEPI (136 186). If you spot sick birds or animals, contact Wildlife Rescue (1300 094 535).