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China Daily Website

White storks poisoned near Tianjin reservoir

Updated: 2012-11-12 21:11

More than 30 oriental white storks were poisoned near the Dagang Reservoir in Tianjin in North China on Nov 11, The Beijing News reported.

"We were on our routine morning patrol around the reservoir, when an amateur photographer told us that a white stork he took photos of seemed to be poisoned,” said Zhao Liang, a volunteer who takes care of and protects the white storks.

Zhao and his colleagues went to the stork pointed out by the photographer and found more birds that had also been poisoned nearby.

"We rushed into the water to save the birds after calling the police. The police arrived soon after and joined the rescue.” Zhao said.

By 5:00 p.m. on Nov 11, three white storks were confirmed dead and 15 were saved and sent to a rescue station nearby.

"The number of deaths may increase.” Zhao said, because of the 15 rescued, two were still in danger.

There are only 3000 oriental white storks in China. The animal is under first-class State protection.

Some of them come to the Dagang Reservoir every winter and spend the whole season there.

The volunteers said they found at least eight bags of agricultural chemicals near the white storks’ foraging area.

Some bags of the chemicals, which are extremely poisonous to fish and birds, had been left open.

The bags were taken away by police. The police have not revealed any details about the matter.