BLUFFTON, S.C. (CBS Charlotte/AP) — Tests at Clemson University show the mysterious deaths of at least 23 crows around the Bluffton Schools Complex was the result of a pesticide typically used in cotton and potato fields.
The deaths of the birds in neighborhoods around the schools complex had puzzled investigators since there was no evidence of common diseases.
The Island Packet stated that some tests done by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control were negative for West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis.
“I’m trying to figure out who applied the pesticide and at what point,” Daniela Payne, an investigator with the Department of Pesticide Regulation, told the paper.
One veterinarian suggested the birds might have become drunk on fermented berries.
Payne says the incident appears to be isolated and no deaths have been reported since.
Violating South Carolina pesticide laws can result in monetary fines as much of $1,000 or suspension of a business license.
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