Lorikeets Killed by Rats and Rat Poison
Sometimes an attempt to solve a problem can simply cause an even worse one. Drusillas Park near Alfriston recently managed to kill several of their lorikeets whilst trying to save them!
Drusillas Park is a family friendly zoo in East Sussex and is located approximately 12 miles from Eastbourne. It is home to many rare and endangered species and features interactive exhibits and rides. All of which adds up to a great day out for animal lovers. However, visitors to the park will be seeing fewer lorikeets for the time being as there has been big trouble in the birds’ enclosure.
Rats can be a serious issue for zoos where there is a ready supply or food and plenty of areas in which to shelter. The rats can easily spread disease and may also attack other animals. Sadly, the Lorry Landing attraction at Drusillas had been invaded by the vermin. The rats were attacking and killing the birds which had jumped down onto the ground and so immediate action was required.
The park enlisted the help of a professional pest control expert who buried rat poison in the enclosure so that only the rats could find it. The rats did find it but then unfortunately dropped some of the poison on the floor of Lorry Landing. This was found by some of the lorries who then ate it. The poison killed the birds.
Poison and Antidote
This tragedy has resulted in the lorries being withdrawn from their enclosure and housed somewhere safe whilst the rat issue is addressed. Vitamin K is being administered to the remaining birds as an antidote in case they have ingested any of the poison and the park report that no other animals have been affected.
Rainbow lorikeets are an endangered species and this makes the incident all the more tragic. These gorgeous birds are characterised by their brush-tipped tongues which they use to feed on nectar and soft fruits in the wild. In this particular instance the brightly coloured birds used that tongue to collect rat poison from the floor.
This whole episode must have been incredibly depressing and frustrating for Drusillas. The park is extremely proactive about conservation and works hard to care for the animals there. These include the endangered bactrian camel, spectacled owl, emperor tamarin and saki monkey. Hopefully the park will rid itself of rats and they will not return so the rest of the Rainbow lorikeets will be saved.