MUD LAKE, Idaho (AP) — Wildlife officials say 2,000 migrating snow geese have died in Eastern Idaho, likely from a disease that can cause birds to die in midflight and drop out of the sky.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says staff and volunteers collected the dead birds over the past several days at wildlife management areas near the towns of Terreton and Roberts. They say the cause of death likely was avian cholera.
Authorities say the geese were migrating from the Southwest and Mexico to breeding grounds on the north coast of Alaska.
Fish and Game spokesman Steve Schmidt says it’s unclear where they picked up the bacteria.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, avian cholera comes on so quickly that birds with no previous signs of illness can die in flight and fall out of the sky.