'Makes COVID Look Like a Mild Cold': This Israeli Bird Sanctuary Could Launch the Next Pandemic

An unprecedented outbreak of avian flu takes a toll on migrating birds, turning an Israeli nature reserve into a danger zone

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Cranes and crane carcasses at the Hula Lake Nature Reserve, Sunday.
Cranes and crane carcasses at the Hula Lake Nature Reserve, Sunday.

Over the past decade, the Hula Lake Nature Reserve has become the most important domestic tourism site in the Galilee. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have visited the site to bird-watch from designated hideaways or to ride a bicycle through the trails among the birds.

The tourist pilgrimage would peak each year with the arrival of the cranes in the fall. The migration turned into a sort of national event, with the images of the majestic gray birds against the verdant fields gracing newspapers.

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