BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Necropsies found geese that died late last year after landing in the toxic waters of a former open pit copper mine in Montana had severe internal tissue damage that appeared to have been caused by a corrosive substance.
A report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says copper and zinc — which were found in the birds' stomachs — could have been the cause or contributing factor in the lesions in their throats, stomachs and intestines.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 snow geese died after a late migration combined with a sudden storm forced them to seek refuge in Berkeley Pit in Butte.
Montana Resources environmental affairs manager Mark Thompson tells The Montana Standard (bit.ly/2pOjOYH) that there was never any suspicion that the birds died from a cause other than exposure to the acidic water.
Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com