Michigan Department of Natural Resources looking into seagull deaths at Orchard's Mall

NOW: Michigan Department of Natural Resources looking into seagull deaths at Orchard’s Mall

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.--The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed on Tuesday that the organization is looking into a recent rise in seagull deaths at The Orchard's Mall, a mostly abandoned building currently overrun with hundreds of seagulls.

The DNR collected seagull bodies from the parking lot of the mall on June 26th and is currently testing them for a variety of different diseases. So far, they've ruled out Avian Influenza as a possible cause, with more test results still to come.

The current belief from the DNR is that the rise in seagull deaths is due to a lack of food and water in the area and overcrowding.

Julie Melotti, a Wildlife Pathologist with the MDNR says it’s common for overcrowding to lead to deaths and for drivers to run over the pigeons who can’t get out of the way in time.

Christina Castaneda, a former mall manager and current candidate for township supervisor, says she’s been dealing with the bird problem since she moved to the area five years ago.

She claims that she brought an ordinance and petition signed by 28 local business owners asking that rules be put in place to stop people from feeding the birds.

Castaneda claims her ordinance was “not well received.”

Cathy Yates, the current Township Supervisor, declined to comment on the ordinance until the township legal team looks at the document.

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