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Dry spell threatens baby stork population in Germany

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Dry spell threatens baby stork population in Germany
Don't let the sun go down on wee storks. Photo: DPA
16:46 CEST+02:00
Animal experts fear mass mortality of baby storks in Germany due to unseasonably dry weather this summer.

"We fear that it will be a bad year for storks," said German nature protection agency NABU leader Winfried Böhmer on Tuesday in Vetschau, adding that the situation has become "dramatic."

According to Böhmer, of the average four to five chick nest, only one to two are surviving. Their stork parents are pushing the chicks from their nest because food is scarce.

"Worms and snails aren't around because of the dry spell," Böhmer said.

Normally abandoned stork chicks are adopted by other storks, but this year's food shortage has overcome the entire population, Böhmer said.

Head of the nature protection center Storchenschmiede Henrik Watzke said that of the three to five hatched chicks, normally half survive, but not this year.

This year has been especially hard on the population because in addition to food, stork parents must also bring water to their nests. Smaller chicks are unable to reach the water before their siblings and become so weak they are pushed from the nest, he said.

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