Birds 'died of alcohol poisoning'


Authorities said the birds died of alcohol poisoning, not avian flu as feared

Authorities in Romania have said dozens of starlings died of alcohol poisoning, not avian flu as feared.

Romeu Lazar, the executive director of the veterinary health department in the Black Sea port of Constanta said a post-mortem revealed that the birds had eaten grape residue that had fermented and their bodies could not handle the alcohol.

He said they did not have avian flu, which hit the area several years ago.

Constanta residents found dozens of dead birds on the outskirts of the city last week. The reports came as other, larger bird deaths were reported in the United States and elsewhere.

Scientists say mass die-offs of wildlife happen regularly, and are usually unrelated and unreported.

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