Anorak

Anorak | War With The Birds

War With The Birds

by | 11th, January 2007

“I WAS CRIPPLED BY A PARROT.”

It was never going to be easy following “KATE ‘N’ PETE’S 3-IN-BED ROMP WITH TOM CAT”, the Star’s front-runner in Headline Of The Year. But the Star has tried.

The paper’s headline furnishes the story of Glyn Atherton. A 35-year-old employee at the Bulwell, Nottingham, outpost of the Do It All chain of shops.

All was well. And then Glyn met Jack, an African grey parrot who lived in the store’s pet department. Jack was carrying psittacocis, a disease transmitted through bird droppings.

Glyn is now in wheelchair. He is also, thanks to a settlement, £700,000 better off. Jack is as dead as a dead parrot.

So much for Jack. But what about you? What should you look out for? Have you been infected by a parrot? It is easily done – Glyn never worked with Jack and contracted the disease by walking past the parrot’s cage.

And the symptoms to look out for? “Flu-like,” says the Mail. Or bird flu-like?

The War With The Birds is back. A dead parrot. A stricken human. Flu. And now the Mail announces: “Dead birds rain down on towns half a world apart.”

“It could be the plot of a horror film,” says the paper, referring not to its quotidian diet of doom and gloom but news of dead birds dropping from the sky.

Three weeks ago, thousands of pigeons, crows, honeyeaters and wattles “fell out of the sky” in Esperance, Western Australia.

Then last week, dozens of grackles, sparrows and pigeons fell dead upon two streets in Austin, Texas.

Autopsies are being carried out on the dead birds. What killed them? A storm? Toxic poisoning, as Dr Fiona Sutherland, of Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food, suspects? Or was it suicide? Are we being dive-bombed by kamikaze birds? Is this just part of the ongoing war?

Adolfo Valadez, medial director of Austin and Travis County health and human services, says: “We certainly take these kinds of thing seriously, especially following 9/11.”

Wise words. The War With The Birds is on…



Posted: 11th, January 2007 | In: Tabloids Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink