WASECA, Minn. – More than 100 Canada geese and 25 mallards have been found dead on a southern Minnesota lake.
Hundreds of geese fly over Loon Lake in Waseca every day. But since Saturday, it’s 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 is expected to increase though as they work to figure out what is responsible.
Michelle Carstensen is in charge of wildlife health at the DNR.
“I don’t think there’s a cause for concern, so we don’t really have people at risk here,” Carstensen said. “You know, this is just an unfortunate event that can happen in wildlife.”
She says samples of the birds were taking to the University of Minnesota for testing, and the preliminary results have given them a theory.
“So the birds we submitted for necropsy all had pneumonia, and the most likely cause right now could be Aspergillosis, which is a fungus that could be found in moldy grain,” Carstensen said. “It’s likely that the birds might have been feeding in an area where moldy grain was available, and then succumbing quite quickly to this infection.”
While the DNR works on confirming that theory and finding the source of the infection, it’s an important reminder of what to do any time a dead animal is found anywhere.
“We just really want people to make good decisions about choosing not to interact with sick or dead wildlife or, you know, keeping their pets away and not handling these animals until we can, you know, take care of that,” Carstensen said.