Tehran, March 8, IRNA - Birds dying under suspicious circumstances have been noted in Tehran's Pardisan Park which could have been caused by an outbreak of bird flu, the Islamic Students NewAgency (ISNA) reported.
Reacting to the yet unconfirmed report, the chairman of environmental NGO Avay-e Sabz (Green Song) Society called on residents, especially children, to avoid visiting the park, which is located along Hemmat Highway.
Vahid Norouzi urged people to stay away from the park until results of laboratory examinations conducted on the carcasses of 24 saker falcons, one kestrel and a number of owls were released.
The official, however, said the deaths of the birds have not been confirmed as having been caused by bird flu contamination, but nonetheless urged caution as the deaths would not have occurred "had effective precautionary measures been in place."
The park does not even have a full-time veterinarian, he complained.
The Iranian Veterinary Organization took samples of the dead birds' carcasses for laboratory examination from Feb 23 to March 1, he said.
One of the dead birds, a sample of which had been taken, has tested positive for avian flu.
On March 6 it was decided that the entire bird population of the park be culled, but culling has been postponed until the final results of laboratory tests are released.
Department of the Environment officials were not immediately availabe for comment.
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