In recent times, New Year’s seems to always bring with it mystifying mass animal deaths. What an appropriate way to ring in 2012! The New York Daily News writes:
Thousands of blackbirds dropped dead on New Year’s Eve in Arkansas in an incident eerily similar to one that occurred at the same time a year ago.
The disturbing deaths in Beebe, a city northwest of Little Rock, were sparked after loud fireworks sent flocks of the small birds into a panic, scientists said. This caused them to collide with each other, as well as power lines, houses and cars.
On New Year’s Eve 2010, an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 birds died from “blunt trauma” after they were similarly spooked by fireworks.
Eyewitnesses told authorities “the birds were hitting mailboxes, cars, basketball goals, houses, trees,” Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told the Daily News last January. “The trauma shows that they were in flight when they collided with something that killed them.”
The bird deaths, which were followed only days later by hundreds of more bird deaths in Louisiana, sparked conspiracy theories ranging from the Biblical end of the world to government coverups.