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Pesticides at blame for duck deaths in Mt. Juliet

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Jul 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

MT. JULIET – Michelle Desirey has lived on Old Hickory Lake in Mt. Juliet for the last 40 years. 

In mid-June, she saw something she hadn’t seen in all the time she’s lived there. The family noticed wild ducks that inhabit the area would die unexpectedly. 

Desirey said the first time they noticed the problem “there was a mom with her six ducklings, and we saw them swimming around. Within five minutes they were belly up.”

It hit closer to home when Desirey said they found two of their own ducks dead.

“We have our own ducks here that we raise as pets,” she said. “We’ve had them for the last 14 years. Two of ours died to begin with and then a week later one other died.”

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency biologists came to the property to get the animals, and Desirey said they conducted tests to try and determine the cause of death. The conclusion was a pesticide had killed the animals, Desirey said.

“I don’t know if it was intentional or not,” she said.

She also said the family had private testing done of the water, soil and their feed to see if it was contaminated. The testing confirmed it was not in the feed, which Desirey said her husband often tosses to the wild ducks.

“There would be about 50 wild ducks, and he would toss them our feed,” she said.

The family has not seen any dead animals the past week, and Desirey said no fish died at the same time of the duck’s deaths. 

She also said some Canadian geese were spotted in the area recently.

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