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Rooks – Cholera – 1831/2

Corvus frugileus - Rook Photo: Brian Snelson Wikimedia Commons
Corvus frugileus – Rook
Photo: Brian Snelson
Wikimedia Commons
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THE NEWPORT MINER 24TH NOVEMBER, 1910 P4
ROOKS AND CHOLERA

The present day security of this country against all danger of a cholera epidemic is matter for thankfulness not only in human circles, but in the rookeries too. When the cholera slew nearly 60,000 people in the insanitary United Kingdom of 1831-2 the rooks appear to have suffered with them. This was stated, at any rate, to have occurred on the estate of the Marquis of Sligo, which boasted one of the largest rookeries in the west of Ireland. On the first or second day of the epidemic’s appearance an observer noted that all the rooks had vanished.
During the three weeks through which it raged there was no sign of them about their home, but the revenue police found immense numbers of them dead on the shore, ten miles away. When the epidemic abated the rooks returned, but some were too weak to reach their nests, and five-sixths of them had gone. London Chronicle