The case of dozens of dead Canada geese found in central Iowa remains a mystery. Since January 1, approximately 95 dead geese have been collected below the Saylorville Dam. Kevin Baskins, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says initial lab tests have failed to identify what killed the birds.
"They tested negative for avian influenza, lead poisoning, fowl cholera and aflatoxin, which is a mold that sometimes forms on grain," Baskins told Radio Iowa. "These are four items that we would normally look at when we have a winter massive death of water fowl."
Additional samples were recently sent to the National Wildlife Health Lab in Madison, Wisconsin for further testing. Investigators don’t have many theories on what else could be responsible for the deaths. "At this point, we really don’t know," Baskins says, "it’s kind of up to the lab to give us some guidance." There is some good news with the investigation.
Baskins says the number of dead geese has dropped "significantly" in the last week. When the DNR first reported the matter last week, investigators reported 80 dead geese. Since then, they’ve found just 15 more.