Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Birds Fall, Now 100,000 Fish Dead in Arkansas

Thousands of dead fish have turned up in an Arkansas river just days after 3,000 birds mysteriously dropped dead from the sky, but authorities say the deaths are not related.

An estimated 100,000 dead drum fish are floating along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River and washing up on the river's banks near the town of Ozark in the northwestern part of the state.

The dead fish were discovered just after 3,000 red-wing blackbirds fell from the sky in the town of Beebe, more than 100 miles from the site of the dead fish. Officials, who tripled the early estimates of the number of dead birds, said the bird deaths may have been caused by lightning or by stress from fireworks and said they were unrelated to the fish kill.

Fish kills happen every year, but kills of this size are relatively rare. Hundreds more drum fish are sick and have been sent to the University of Arkansas for testing.

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