14 ducks have died at El Dorado Park this month; duck plague is to blame, officials say
More than a dozen ducks were found dead at the El Dorado duck pond over a span of nearly three weeks, and officials are pointing to duck viral enteritis, also known as “duck plague,” as the cause.
Since May 3, at least 14 Muscovy ducks have been found dead at the pond, Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine spokesperson Jane Grobaty confirmed Thursday.
After finding the dead ducks, the city’s Marine Bureau tested the park’s pond water but did not find any abnormalities that could explain their deaths. Four of the deceased ducks were then sent to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Sacramento where personnel confirmed the animals’ deaths were the result of duck plague.
Duck plague is a contagious and fatal disease also common with other waterfowl such as geese and swans. Duck plague can be spread through contaminated water or when a duck comes in direct contact with another fowl carrying the disease. In this instance, however, it appears only Muscovy ducks were among the affected fowl at El Dorado Park, Grobaty said.
Department staff speculates that the Muscovy ducks were abandoned at the park by their owners. Because Muscovy ducks are a domestic breed, they are not suited for survival at the park, Grobaty said.
Duck plague does not pose any risk to humans.
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