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Crows Continue To Die In Denver's Crestmoor Park Neighborhood

DENVER (CBS4) - Dead crows are littering some Denver neighborhoods. Homeowners first thought someone poisoned the birds, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that's not the case.

The area affected is Crestmoor Park located around 6th and Monaco in southeast Denver. CBS4's Suzanne McCarroll first reported on the story a week and a half ago, and the birds continue to turn up dead.

It's a neighborhood with birds, bunnies and squirrels. Unfortunately it is also an area with crow carcasses littering the lawns and streets.

"I have found at least two dead crows in my backyard and the reason it's disturbing is I have small children," a Crestmoor Park resident said.

Right next door there was a dead crow Monday morning, and yet another on Tuesday morning.

"This is a crow that just passed away overnight," resident Julie Mackay-Percy said. "He's one of the sick ones I've seen the last couple of days, and they keep going until they can't."

Mackay-Percy now refers to herself as the crow lady. When McCarroll first interviewed her she said about 36 crows died along her street this summer. In the last week alone nine more have died and neighbors say many more are sick.

"They get slower and slower … you can tell it's a struggle for them to move, it's a struggle for them to fly," Mackay-Percy said.

Dead Birds Map
(credit: CBS)

Representatives for the CDC have made frequent trips to the neighborhood to test the birds. What continues to turn up is West Nile virus.

"Crows, unlike most animals, can actually transmit West Nile virus directly from bird to bird," Nicholas Komar with the CDC said. "That's probably what's happening, is that one crow will infect the next crow. But they may have also been bitten by infected mosquitoes. There is some risk of infected mosquitoes in the community."

There is some relief that the birds are not being poisoned.

"I actually wish there was a way to save them. If there was a way to save them I'd set up a hospital or something to take care of them," Mackey-Percey said. "It's just terrible because there's nothing you can do."

For now residents are left to dispose of the carcasses and hope the mosquito season is nearly over.

Health officials say that the birds are not likely to infect people or pets.

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