Dead ducks found in local parks concerns visitors - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/18/10

Dead ducks found in local parks concerns visitors

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By Michael Slother - email

A Game Warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department rounded up nearly a dozen dead ducks at Charles Guy Park. On Wednesday KCBD NewsChannel11 came to the other side of the lake and found 6 other dead ducks. Charles Guy Park is at least the second park that's had reports of mysterious dead ducks. A couple of different species of ducks seem to be affected.

The park is a popular spot for those who want to get outside and walk their dogs, fish, or enjoy the scenery. The Hawkins family had a different experience on Tuesday.

"We saw a couple of dead ducks and at first we just thought maybe a dog or something had gotten to them, and then we started walking around and we came down here and there were 4 more and we became very concerned," said Robin Hawkins.

Robin and her husband, Jeremy were fishing when they made the disturbing discovery.

"I just found it odd and thought somebody needed to be notified so that's just kind of what we did," Jeremy Hawkins said.

He called the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and shortly after Game Warden Chelsea Estrada responded. "We came out and checked it out and there were 11 deceased ducks just along the shoreline," Estrada said.

No one is sure what's killing the ducks. The South Plains Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center has seen a few of the ducks and an official there told us some of the symptoms were similar to that of an animal exposed to botulism, but they weren't sure. We also called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office for West Texas and Duane Lucia told us a specimen would be shipped up to Wisconsin for testing to determine the cause of death.

The Hawkins family isn't sure of the problem either, but until they are they'll be extra careful.

"I just am concerned for the safety of individuals that come out here and fish and bring their dogs out and the dogs play in the water and what not," said Jeremy Hawkins.

"Why are they doing? I mean I don't think I would let my dog drink out of this water right now until I know more exactly what's going on because if it can happen to a duck I just don't know if it can happen to other animals out here," Robin Hawkins said.

No one is sure what is causing the ducks to die or if there are any safety concerns for the people or dogs who use the parks. KCBD NewsChannel 11 has left messages with several area biologists, but those answers may not come until after test results are in.

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