25 Dead Loons Wash Up On Sleeping Bear Beach; Botulism Suspected

WWJ News
October 18, 2019 - 3:28 pm
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

(Photo: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore)

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EMPIRE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - More than two dozen common loons have been found dead at a beach in northern Michigan.

Good Harbor Bay beach is at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau County. Officials believe the birds, 25 or more in total, were likely killed by Type E botulism and washed ashore this week.

Botulism has been linked to more than 80,000 bird deaths around the Great Lakes since 1999. Experts at Michigan Sea Grant believe the birds could have eaten fish that were carrying the toxin. Learn more about it here

"If you find a dead bird on the beach never touch it," park officials instructed, in a Facebook post. "Keeping your dog on a leash can also prevent your furry friends from coming in contact with the birds."

Anyone who sees a dead or sick bird is urged to report it at this link