Concern: Nina Stone, left, and Samira Behyari at Safa Park where they found dead birds Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Scores of birds and cats have died of suspected poisoning in various parks in Dubai, XPRESS has learnt.

Nina Stone, who teaches Brazilian martial arts Capoeira at Safa Park, said she has found 40 to 50 dead birds everyday over the past fortnight.

“It’s a horrifying sight. There are mynahs, crows, pigeons and hud huds either lying dead in the grass or in their final death throes. At least three cats, all neutered, have also died from suspected poisoning and many others have fallen sick.

“I took six of them to the vet and sheltered three others in my house, but there are still a few left near the nursery area. I hope I can rescue them as well before something happens,” she said.

Raining dead birds

At the Umm Suqeim Park the scenes are no less disturbing. “It’s almost like raining dead birds here. They are falling out of the skies and trees. The other day I saw a worker scoop away a bagful of dead mynahs and crows,” said a British woman visiting the park. Similar incidents have been reported from Al Barsha Park.

Park-goers reckon the unusually high number of deaths could be a result of a massive culling operation, but Hisham Abdul Rahman Al Yahya, Head of Pest Control Section at Dubai Municipality denied it.

“We don’t have anything to do with it. Somebody might have used poison, but it’s definitely not us. In any case, we have not received any complaint in this regard,” he told XPRESS.

Another official at the pest control department said they don’t have any bird control programme. Killing birds is illegal, we do not do it,” he said, adding that they are not aware of any incident.

But Stone, who has lodged a formal complaint with the Municipality, is not amused. “How can they say they have not heard about any deaths when they have registered my complaint and even issued me a complaint number?

Cruel and ineffective bird poison can be dangerous to humans too. Ask abaya designer and animal rights activist Samira Behari who tried to rescue a dying bird at Safa Park on Monday. “I used my bare hands to lift the bird. It was a mistake, because soon after I fell terribly ill. I got diarrhoea and felt nauseous all day,” said the Iranian-Australian woman.

Stone said the deaths of birds have scared away her students, most of whom are four to five years old. “Now nobody wants to send their kids here.”

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