Rome: The entire world welcomed the new year with much happiness and fun. While many chose to go for silent celebrations, the others chose to set off firecrackers to welcome the year 2021. However, in a tragic incident, as many as hundreds of birds died after people burst off firecrackers in Rome, Italy.
Many of the animal rights group called this a 'massacre.' Several pictures and videos have surfaced online, which showed dozens and dozens of birds scattered lifeless on the ground near to Rome's main train station. It was a heartbreaking sight to see hundreds of birds lying lifeless on the street.
However, the cause of the deaths was not clear. The International Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA) said that it appeared to be related to a loud display of firecrackers and fireworks in the neighbourhood where many birds use to nest.
A spokeswoman of OIPA, Loredana Diglio said that it might be that the birds died out of the fear or maybe, they flew up together and knock against each other, or hit windows or electric power lines. The birds can also die of heart attacks. She further noted that the display of fireworks causes a lot of distress and injury to animals every year.
However, the firework display was banned in the city of Rome, and a curfew was imposed at 10 pm due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But all of these instructions were ignored by the people. OIPA's Italian branch has called for a ban on selling firecrackers and fireworks for personal use, citing the threat to animals.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said that the effect of fireworks on birds is similar to that of a thunderstorm.
However, it further says: "To minimise any adverse impact of fireworks on birds, we urge organisers of firework displays to avoid launching the rockets near to sensitive wildlife areas, such as nature reserves, and nesting and roosting sites for wild birds."