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Liberty Park duck deaths not tied to avian flu

By Jeff Tavss

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    SALT LAKE CITY (KSTU) — Wildlife officials say the large number of recent duck deaths in Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park is not connected to avian influenza.

Up to 30 ducks were found dead earlier this month, leading the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to submit some of the animals for testing. On Monday, the department reported none of the tests showed the ducks had died of avian flu, and there is currently no “obvious diagnosis.”

According to the DWR, its state wildlife veterinarian suspects the deaths could have been caused by botulism or another toxin. Results from additional tests are still pending.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality also tested for harmful algal blooms, with results showing cyanobacteria and a small amount of hepatotoxin. Cyanobacteria is considered an harmful algae.

In the days after the ducks were discovered, crews fixed an aeration system in the Liberty Park pond.

Dog owners are being told to keep their pets away from the algae mats surrounding the Liberty Park pond.

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