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Pullen Park Ducks Died From Botulism, Tests Confirm

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Avian botulism caused the deaths of more than a dozen ducks at Pullen Park in August, state agriculture officials said Tuesday.
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    Avian Botulism

    from the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center

    Tests recently confirmed the presence of Type C botulinum, which causes botulism in birds. The naturally occurring microorganism is widespread in wetland soil, but requires warm temperatures and an environment with limited oxygen to become active and produce toxins.

    Birds can ingest the toxin directly or by eating worms containing high concentrations of the toxin. Outbreaks in waterfowl typically occur in late summer or early fall during periods of hot, dry weather.

    This type of botulism generally does not pose a risk to humans, dogs or cats, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said.

    No other animals in the park showed signs of sickness, city parks officials said.