Footage from the streets of Rome has shown hundreds of dead birds scattered outside a busy train station, believed to have been killed during the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Diego Fenicchia filmed the scene and posted it to YouTube. He believes the cause of death is related to fireworks that were set off in the neighbourhood outside of Roma Termini train station, an area filled with trees birds like to nest in.
"This is the disgusting side of human nature…the fireworks. Hundreds of dead birds. Unbelievable. Look how many there are,” Mr Fenicchia speaks in Italian on the video, translated by The Sun.
Hundreds of birds drop dead in Rome after being frightened to death by New Year's Eve fireworks display, report says. pic.twitter.com/iP1zC4SHAA
— karma Naughty 🇧🇹 (@CarmaTrinley) January 3, 2021
Aftermath described as a ‘massacre’
Footage of streets near the city’s main train station showed dozens and dozens of birds — mostly starlings — scattered lifeless on the ground.
The unusual concentration of bird deaths came despite a ban by the city of Rome on personal fireworks displays, which was widely ignored, and a 10pm curfew due to coronavirus restrictions.
roma via cavour, effetto dei botti di fine anno, centinaia di uccelli morti.
certo che fate schifo. pic.twitter.com/vyPlxPsPLy
— mymelody (@lustvbi) January 1, 2021
The International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA) described the scene as a “massacre” and said the birds most likely died from fear or panic when fireworks or firecrackers were set off.
— OIPA International (@OIPAInternation) January 1, 2021
“It can be that they died from fear. They can fly up together and knock against each other, or hit windows or electric power lines,” Loredana Diglio, an OIPA spokeswoman told the Associated Press.
"Let’s not forget they can also die of heart attacks."
Fireworks displays each year cause distress and injury to both wild and domestic animals, she noted.
The Italian branch of OIPA has called for a ban on selling firecrackers and fireworks for personal use, citing the threat to animals.