Greenway walkers found several dead and sick ducks in Freedom Park late Sunday, prompting a warning that park visitors and their dogs stay out of Little Sugar Creek.
Two ducks were found dead and three are being treated by the nonprofit Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, county officials said Monday. Other affected ducks couldn’t be reached by volunteers.
An emergency-response team from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services is reviewing water-quality data and will collect more samples for lab testing. It’s unclear whether the illness was spread among the flock or came from pathogens in the water. Water tests may take up to two weeks.
“As a precaution, we are advising that park-goers and their pets voluntarily stay out of the water along Little Sugar Creek from the Carolina Medical Center to the south end of Freedom Park until we determine the cause of this illness,” said Mark Boone, a county spokesman.
A spill of 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel into Little Sugar Creek killed numerous ducks and turtles in late 2015. Parkway Properties, a commercial real-estate firm, spent nearly $47,000 to clean up the mess, including a $4,200 city fine.
The county asked that anyone who finds a dead or ill duck at Freedom Park call Carolina Waterfowl Rescue at 704-668-9486. The group is seeking volunteers and donations to help treat and diagnose the animals.