Dozens of dead ducks found at Utah Park in Aurora
About 40 dead ducks were removed from some ponds at the park in mid to late August
Posted: 09/08/2011 09:22:00 AM MDT Updated: 09/08/2011 09:22:00 AM MDT
Author: Joey Kirchmer
[Note: Lowered immune systems plus commonly-present disease – MC]
The city’s parks department has been removing dozens of mallard duck carcasses from Utah Park in recent weeks.
About 40 dead ducks were removed from some ponds at the park in mid to late August, said Sherri-Jo Stowell, spokeswoman for the city’s parks, recreation and open space department. Wildlife officials say the feathered creatures died from an outbreak of avian botulism, which typically peaks during the hotter months.
Many of the ducks appear to be infected by an avian botulism toxin, which is often released from sediment during hot weather. Insects absorb the toxin and infect the birds that eat them.
Denver and other areas have experienced similar outbreaks in recent weeks as well.
Though the toxin is particularly dangerous to wild birds, cattle, horses and poultry, it is considered a low-risk toxin for humans, dogs and cats.
Officials are urging residents to avoid feeding ducks and geese because it can reduce water quality and further increase the chances for more avian botulism outbreaks.
Joey Kirchmer: 303-954-2650 or firstname.lastname@example.org