Bacteria-infested bread is killing birds in Brussels ponds
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    Bacteria-infested bread is killing birds in Brussels ponds

    Waterfowl in Brussels ponds are dying from avian botulism. Credit: Lukasz Zieliński/Google Street View

    Large numbers of waterfowl have been pulled lifeless from ponds in the municipality of Ixelles in the past week after they died from the likely ingestion of bacteria-infested bread.

    Authorities believe that birds in the Étangs de Ixelles succumbed to botulism, a type of poisoning to which the inhabitants of the ponds are particularly exposed to.

    Bread and other food that people throw in the ponds for the birds are thought to be the sources of the poisoning, according to Bruzz.

    When the pieces of stale food sit in the water for too long, they become breeding ground for bacteria, a problem exacerbated by the record-high temperatures recorded in the country in recent weeks.

    Feeding the ducks, geese, swans and other aquatic birds living in the water basins by Ixelles’ busy place Flagey is not permitted, according to the outlet.

    Municipal authorities are keeping an eye on the situation, and have said that, as temperatures become cooler, the problem should be brought under control.

    In the meantime, regional environmental authority Bruxelles Environnement is asking strollers and visitors of the ponds to refrain from feeding their inhabitants.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times