ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State environmental officials are warning citizens not to feed waterfowl after a dozen Canada geese were found sick or dead on a North Country pond.

The sick geese found in a pond near the Dannemora Wastewater Treatment Plant. They were were disoriented and unable to fly, and are expected to die. Tests determined the dead geese were infected with Aspergillosis, a fungus that grows in the birds' lungs and air sacs. It causes respiratory distress and eventual suffocation.

Birds pick up the fungus by eating moldy grain, such as bread or livestock feed. The fungus can cause large-scale die-offs in waterfowl, but it's not contagious and poses no risk to humans.

According to Dave Winchell, DEC spokesman in Ray Brook, the geese could have ingested the contaminated feed miles away from the pond. "We don't know were they got it, we're hoping the public can help us find the source," Winchell said.

The problem is ongoing; another dead bird was found Wednesday, he said.

Winchell asks that anyone with information about the contamination source, or anyone who notices diseased or dead birds, contact the DEC at 897-1200.

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