Friday, December 23, 2011

Officials unsure of cause of Thousands of birds to drop dead in Davis County - 22nd Dec 2011

CLEARFIELD, Utah—

Wildlife officials and Clearfield city officials are investigating the mysterious death of thousands of starlings in Davis County. State wildlife officials are warning residents to stay away from the dead birds.

Earlier this week, Clearfield city officials cleaned up hundreds of birds from the city park and are now looking at number of potential causes of the mass death, including poisoning.

"Initially there was speculation as to what had caused these birds to die. The reality is we just don't know what caused their deaths," said Phil Douglas, Conservation Outreach Manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "There's a variety of things that do happen to wild animals and and many of them have adaptations for surviving these types of things, but sometimes something happens where they just can't survive."

The DWR says they've sent some of the birds to a toxicology lab to be tested. It could be several weeks before they find out the cause of the deaths.

The Dunkley family believes a dead bird made their dog sick. They say they found their dog Chewy with a dead bird in its mouth. Their vet told them she couldn't tell what had caused his illness.

"Vomiting all over the place and just retching real bad," said LeRoy Dunkley. "I don't know who's poisoning the birds or for what reason but if that's why this little dog got sick. He was sick, bad."

Chewy is expected to make a full recovery.

The DWR encourages residents to contact them if they have any issues with their pets or any other wildlife that may have been affected by the dead starlings. Source