NewsChannel 5 first reported about the animals deaths Monday. Property owner Michelle Desirey said the day before her husband had seen ducks suddenly fly into the rocks and die.
“He saw two wild ducks fly in that never got in the water. They landed on the rocks and immediately had something like a seizure, and then just died right there,” she said. “In five minutes they were all dead. It was heartbreaking.”
Over the next 24 hours they found more than 20 dead ducks. Monday, they even found a dead raccoon and woodpecker in the same area.
Desirey said three more ducks died Tuesday. The family raises domestic ducks and has worried that whatever is killing the wild ones could kill theirs, as well.
Officers from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have been investigating.
Desirey said they were staying away from the lake until they knew more about what was killing the wildlife.
“We’re not going to fish or eat any fish out of the lake. We’re probably not going to swim in the lake,” she said.
TWRA officials were working to determine if it was something the water, or on someone’s property. While they wait, Desirey said they won’t even be launching their boat until they get an idea of what could be killing so much of what makes living on Old Hickory so special.
“It’s not the same lake that it has been for the last forty years,” she said.
TWRA officials told NewsChannel 5 they were sending the dead ducks to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia in Athens for testing.