Dead pelicans in St. Pete leave wildlife officials baffled

Necropsies being performed on birds

(Getty Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Officials are trying to figure out why pelicans are dying in St. Petersburg.

The dead birds have been turning up since last Wednesday and the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is caring for another 14 pelicans that are alive but lethargic and paralyzed.

Clearwater Audubon Society spokeswoman Barbara Walker told the Tampa Bay Times no one has an official count because several animal rehab facilities are treating the sick birds.

Meantime, the city's public works department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are teaming up to solve the mystery. In a news release, city officials said they've tested the water and are pursuing more extensive testing. Wildlife officials are also conducting necropsies.

Some wonder if the bird kill is connected to an ongoing red tide algae bloom.

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