WASECA, Minn. – More than 100 Canada geese and 25 mallards have been found dead on a lake in southern Minnesota.
Hundreds of geese fly over Loon Lake in Waseca every day. But since Saturday, it has become the final destination for some.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, more than 125 birds have been found dead on the lake so far. That number, however, is expected to increase as they work to determine what is responsible.
Michelle Carstensen is the wildlife health manager at DNR.
“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, so we don’t really have any people at risk here,” Carstensen said. “You know, it’s just an unfortunate event that can happen in wildlife.”
She says bird samples were being taken to the University of Minnesota for testing, and preliminary results gave them a theory.
“So the birds we submitted for autopsy all had pneumonia, and the most likely cause right now might be aspergillosis, which is a fungus that can be found in moldy grains,” said said Carstensen. “It is likely that the birds foraged in an area where moldy grain was available and then succumbed to this infection fairly quickly.”
As the DNR works to confirm this theory and find the source of infection, it’s an important reminder of what to do whenever a dead animal is found anywhere.
“We really want people to make good decisions by choosing not to interact with sick or dead wild animals or, you know, keeping their pets away and not handling those animals until that we can, you know, deal with it,” Carstensen said.