Neighbors concerned about recent geese deaths at Daybreak lake

Jun 20, 2022, 10:13 PM | Updated: 11:26 pm

NOTE: Embedded within this article is a picture of a dead goose. Proceed with caution.

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Regular visitors to the south end of the lake at Daybreak noticed something concerning recently — Canadian geese behaving strangely and dying without explanation.

Anela Noriega said Monday she started observing problems within a family of geese.

“This week, one disappeared,” Noriega told KSL TV. “I was like, that’s kind of weird, and then the next day, one seemed sick and then it’s dead, and the next day, another one’s sick, and the next day, two are dead. So, by Saturday, the last one was twitching and convulsing in seizures and animal control came and got it.”

Noriega said she hoped answers would emerge sometime this week about that goose. She said she believed 11 total geese had died so far, possibly along with some ducks she wasn’t sure were experiencing the same issues.

Officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources were also expected to take a closer look Tuesday, possibly to identify whether the creatures may have fallen victim to the avian flu outbreak that has touched other parts of Salt Lake County and the state, or perhaps to detect another cause of the deaths.

(Anela Noriega)

Noriega was quickly able to point out two dead geese and two dead ducks Monday evening as she surveyed the south end of the lake. She said other geese remains had vanished or possibly had been collected.

Apparently known by neighbors as the “goose and duck whisperer,” she said she felt close to the waterfowl.

“They have families — you’re going to make me cry,” said an emotional Noriega. “They start shaking and convulsing and spinning in circles and nobody wants to see that — watch your kid die, you know.”

She said she has been extremely careful to help maintain the health of the wild geese and ducks at the lake, which are considered protected wildlife, and she hoped the population would continue to survive and thrive.

“I don’t want them dead,” Noriega said. “I just want to help them the best way we can.”

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Neighbors concerned about recent geese deaths at Daybreak lake