On May 28, 2020, Investigators from the Dothan Police Department collected a deceased duck from the banks of Emerald Lake to sent it for analysis. The duck was sent to the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory in Auburn, AL. The duck and a water sample from the lake were analyzed by scientists.
On June 5, 2020, the results of the analysis was received by investigators. According to the State Diagnostic Laboratory, “No evidence of an infectious etiology was observed upon necropsy and histopathologic examination. Heavy metal levels are within acceptable levels and pesticides were not detected upon toxicological analysis. ”
The report continued, “Botulism remains as the most likely cause of death. Ducks often contract botulism from feeding on decaying vegetation or other organic material on the bottom of ponds. Botulism more often affects ducks than geese, which may explain the mortality observed in only ducks”. The Diagnostic Laboratory found no evidence of any poison in the duck or the water sample supplied.
The Dothan Police Department wants to thank the members of the community for bringing this to our attention. We hope the answers bring closure from some residents in that area. The Dothan Police Department would also like to thank the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory for their assistance and expertise in this case.