HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) – Concerns were growing in northwest Indiana this week after dozens of dead birds were found by Wolf Lake.
As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported on Thursday, people are now being urged to stay away.
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Wolf Lake straddles the southeast side of Chicago and Hammond, Indiana. Recently, fisherman Lenard Mores took a video noticing that a goose had died.
“This goose was alive yesterday swimming,” Mores said in the video. “Look at him now.
The fisherman did not know he would find dozens more. Mores counted more than 30 dead waterfowl in the Wolf Lake Channel on the Indiana side.
“They were actually all along the shore here, all along the bridge,” Mores told CBS 2’s Parra.
Some of the dead birds are ducks, but most are Canada Geese – lying on the ice or floating lifeless in the water.
“Nothing was done, that’s when I started taking the geese out of the water and stacking them – then the town workers came and took them,” Mores said.
The mysterious deaths and the possible explanations behind them spark debate among locals.
“Lack of food or chemical destruction?” I’m not really too sure, ”Mores said.
“I think the local government should let us know that we may have a problem on our hands,” said resident Marisa Rowden.
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Hammond is proudly industrial, but there is a fractured trust relationship between some of the industrial factories and the residents.
“We’ve had lead poisoning, cadmium poisoning, swans dying on the lake,” Rowden said.
It was years ago on the next lake, Lake George. But Rowden wonders if we are seeing a repeated story.
A local wildlife agency in the area said it had saved dozens of dehydrated geese. They said it is possible that the deaths were related to weather conditions.
Other wildlife agencies have said the state of Iowa has seen its own share of geese sick and dying from diseases like fowl cholera.
Residents have different guesses, but they’re all hoping to find an answer soon.
“I don’t want to see any animals die, but I mean, you know, if it’s a natural cause, there’s nothing we can do. If it’s because of the weather, there’s nothing we can do, “Rowden said,” but if it’s because of something else and they’re polluted, I don’t think it’s fair.
Wildlife experts are asking the public to avoid the area where the birds were found as the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, as Wolf Lake is divided between two states, Parra contacted William W. Powers State Recreation Area, which manages the Illinois side, to see if they saw the same phenomenon as the Illinois side. Indiana. A spokesperson told him, “We haven’t seen anything like it.”
An autopsy and tests are currently being performed on the dead birds to determine the cause of death – the results could take weeks. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
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For resources on who to contact if you find dead wildlife, click here for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.