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MN DNR probing death of pelicans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death of about 2,200 young ring-billed gulls around a popular lake near Brainerd.
/ Source: KVLY-TV

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death of about 2,200 young ring-billed gulls around a popular lake near Brainerd. DNR area wildlife manager Gary Drotts says he got reports late last month of about 400 dead birds on Gooseberry Island in Pelican Lake, a popular beach and resort area. Drotts and a crew arrived to find many more dead birds than expected. He said there was also a small number of dead herons and cormorants.

DNR scientists are investigating the cause of death. The agency says bird die-offs are not uncommon in summer and are usually caused by botulism or West Nile virus. The department says neither the botulism or West Nile virus are a threat to humans or livestock when occurring in this manner.

Drotts says the bird corpses were incinerated.