Poisonous gun pellets killed lake flamingos

LARNACA (AP) – Cyprus yesterday said it is trying to prevent more deaths of migratory flamingos after dozens of the birds died from eating shotgun pellets. Environment Minister Costas Themistocleous said at least 40 flamingos, which have made the Larnaca Salt Lake their home for the winter, were found dead this week. He said a nearby shooting range will be closed as the birds were found to have died from lead poisoning caused by swallowing shotgun pellets fired into the lake. «An operation has started to try to remove the flamingos from the dangerous area of the lake nearest the shooting range,» Themistocleous said. Klitos Andreou, director of Cypriot Veterinary Services, said hundreds of pellets were found in the stomachs of some of the dead birds, which probably ate the pellets while eating shrimp from the lake’s bottom. He said six pellets can cause fatal poisoning.