Zombie Pigeons Invade Russia: "The Pecking Dead" Plague Moscow; Birds Are Aggressive Yet Lethargic
By Staff Writer | August 21, 2013 11:59 AM EDT
Zombie pidgeons have invaded Moscow, Russia, authorities say.
Russians throughout Moscow have reported that the pigeons in their fair city are acting really, really, weird. "The Pecking Dead", as the zombie pigeons have been dubbed, are suddenly both fearlessly violent and dully lethargic at once.
One Muscovite named Umid said to press,
"When I walk to work I usually see pigeons running and jumping around. But recently they haven't been reacting to anything at all".
There's something strange going on, he thinks. "When a person walks past them, they used to fly away. But now they just sit there in a kind of funk and don't even pay attention to you. They're just not normal."
And, Umid said, some of the birds seemed possessed: "I've seen some pigeons behaving very strangely, turning around in circles".
Authorities have explained the "zombie pigeon" condition as a result of an intestinal infection and other parasite-based illnesses.
Twitter users fear that "the pecking dead" is an early warning of a "bird apocalypse". Users have told stories of pigeons resting their beaks on the ground, losing their balance and falling from their perch, and walking around and around in circles.
Officials have tried to calm Muscovites by reassuring them that humans cannot catch the intestinal disease the "zombie pigeons" have.
However, The Veterinary Committee presented a different theory, saying that the birds may be victims of salmonella poisoning, which is also contagious. They cited lesions on the bird's intestines and livers as evidence of this.
Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Unit has yet another theory. They think the pigeons may be stricken with Newcastle Disease, which is highly contagious and does affect humans, resulting in flu-like symptoms and eye infections.
Russia's chief health inspector says that he has no plans to investigate the reports whatsoever...although he banned Ukranian chocolate last month, saying it was a health risk. He did, however, say, "In the hands of Pablo Picasso a pigeon became and embodiment of peace... but in fact, in a sanitary sense, they are one of the dirtiest stupidest birds there are".
Regardless, going near pigeons in Russia is perhaps not advised. Muscovites have been told to stay away from pigeons that are acting funny and to call the authorities if they find a dead bird.
What do you think of the "zombie pigeons"? Hype or real problem? Sound off in the comments below!
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