Marysville, CA - The bodies of more than 20 ducks and geese have been found along the shoreline of Lake Ellis in Marysville. Marysville police Corporal Gabrielle Carter blames an outbreak of Avian Cholera for their deaths.
"My concern is that the disease spreads between the ducks and geese," said Carter after finding 17 dead birds Saturday and another 5 on Friday. "It's traumatizing to the children to have to see the dead ducks."
Marysville police officers are tasked with patrolling the lake once an hour to search for sick birds.
"We need to retrieve any of the deceased ducks so that their mates won't continue having physical contact with them and become infected as well," said Carter.
The disease isn't known to affect humans, but Marysville police are still warning people to stay away from the birds.
"My concern is that children would come up to pet them thinking they are tame when in fact, they're really sick," Carter said.
Fish and Wildlife service officials have yet to report the exact cause of the outbreak, but they suspect that water shortages could be to blame. When water is scarce, migrating birds are forced to congregate in small spaces - helping to spread the often fatal disease.
By Natalie Sentz, firstname.lastname@example.org