Australians have been left in horror after dozens of native birds fell from the sky "screaming and bleeding from their eyes and beaks."
In a horrifying incident, described by onlookers as a scene "like something out of a horror movie," around 60 birds died overnight in Australia early this month.
These birds, the long-billed corella, belonged to a protected native species in Australia and are believed to have been poisoned.
Rescuers called to examine the incident reported that 58 of 60 birds were already dead and were found near a school at One Tree Hill in Adelaide.
And the ones which were still alive were painfully bleeding from their beaks and eyes.
Sarah King, the founder of Casper's Bird Rescue, reported to The Guardian that one of her staff found the dying birds before informing her about the incident in a state of distress.
"They were literally falling out of the trees in front of him, falling out of the sky."
"Only two or three were actually deceased. The rest were just screaming on the ground. They couldn't fly anymore. They were bleeding out of their mouths … What we were seeing was something out of a horror movie."
"Only two out of the 60 were able to be taken to veterinarians."
According to King, the manners in which the birds died suggested that they had been poisoned.
She also said that the chemical used may have inflicted consistent pain on the birds for several days or even a week before killing them.
"It's not instant death. It causes suffering. It takes a few weeks for it to work. It starts internally, and they have internal bleeding. It is a horrific, slow death."
"[And] the birds that have been affected are the protected species of the long-bill corella. It is an important fact to get out there. Of the 60-odd that we found, only three were the non-protected species."
"This isn't the way to deal with anything. It's also against the law."
The government is investigating this massive bird massacre and the state's Department for Environment and Water hasn't confirmed the actual cause of death. But rescuers suspect poisoning.
After examining the birds, Veterinarian Trudy Seidel also said that poisoning was "more than likely."
Local authorities have listed other bird species, such as the little corella, as unprotected. The birds are considered a pest due to adverse damages they can cause to street lights and crops.
The deceased long-billed corella birds are now undergoing disease and toxin testing. The process might last several weeks before the cause of poisoning is found.
According to FOX News, King said:
"The crops on a couple of birds that we did open up after they passed away showed that they were full of grain. But we don't have any toxicology to know, that's for sure."
"We've also contacted Biosecurity South Australia so that they are being tested for any sort of exotic diseases to make sure that it's not that. But more than likely they have been poisoned."