Dozens of water birds found dead in a lake in Manchester, England
Urgent laboratory tests are taking place after dozens of birds were discovered dead in the lake of a popular park.
Visitors to Boggart Hole Clough in Blackley were greeted with the upsetting sight of the birds floating lifeless in the water yesterday.
Around a dozen of them could be seen in the lake at the park last night with other animals visibly hurt and distressed.
Regular visitors to the park believe dozens more animals been pulled from the lake over the past week.
Canadian Geese, Mallards, Coots and Tufted Ducks are among the species that reside in the lake, which is overlooked by a community cafe.
Signs have been placed around the Manchester council-owned park warning visitors to steer clear of the water and link the deaths to possible contamination by poisonous algae.
The signs state: “WARNING: the water has been contaminated with toxic algae which is harmful to health. Do not drink the water, swim, or allow pets in the water. Avoid contact with the algae.”
However, council officials have sounded a note of caution and say it is still too early to determine the exact the cause of birds’ deaths.
Samples from the lake have been taken and are currently being processed at a laboratory. Blood and tissue samples from some of the dead birds are also being analysed to determine what killed them.
One young mum who visits the park every day said the sight of the dead and dying birds had left her devastated.
Rebecca Atkinson, 28, from Moston, who regularly visits with her newborn daughter Sophia, said: “It’s so upsetting.
“I have been coming to this park since I was a little girl and I have never seen anything like this. It’s just so cruel.
“It’s such a slow death and you can literally see them dying in front of you. I just can’t understand it.
“Something needs to be done before any more are affected by it.”
And Marilyn Clarke, 58, who lives on nearby Grange Park Road, said: “The kids have just broken up for the school holidays so the park will be really busy.
“And this is a horrible sight for them.
“I used to feed the white Farmhouse Swan all the time, it’s really sad.”
The ancient woodland, which covers 190 acres, is a designated a local nature reserve and is used by sports clubs for boating and other activities.