Thousands of Snow Geese Fall Dead from Idaho Sky
Two thousand snow geese have fallen dead out of the Idaho sky according to wildlife managers. The suspicion is that a case of avian cholera afflicted the geese as they migrated to Alaska.
Dozens of Idaho Department of Fish and Game workers and volunteers at the weekend retrieved and incinerated carcasses of snow geese found near bodies of water and a wildlife management area in the eastern part of the state, said agency spokesman Gregg Losinski.
“Basically, they just fell out of the sky,” said Losinski.
Biologists are waiting for confirmation from the state lab that the birds were infected with the highly contagious disease. Humans face little threat from the disease but other wildlife can become infected from the goose carcasses.
About 20 bald eagles were seen near areas where snow geese carcasses littered the ground but a lengthy incubation period makes it unclear if the eagles were infected and would carry the ailment elsewhere, said Losinski.
It is not known where the geese contracted the disease, which is caused by bacteria that can live in soil for up to four months.
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