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Federal officials say illegal dumping may be cause of waterfowl deaths in Lakewood

30 ducks and geese found dead in retention pond
Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 18:37:20-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Some restaurant owners near Highway 287 and Wadsworth can’t fathom that someone would intentionally dump leftover cooking oil into the storm water system.

Some, like Vietnam Pho owner Andy Nguyen, said investigators came by and tested the sewer lines for leaks.

“They put like some kind of chemical, you know like a colored chemical, inside my sewer to see if they get anything from it -- from my restaurant -- but they didn't find anything,” said Nguyen.

That crime is what U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents are investigating after they said more than 30 migratory birds were found dead and covered in oil in late January near a storm water retention pond.

“We have had reports that there have been multiple introductions of cooking oil over the course of several weeks, so our law enforcement agents are looking into that,” said Ryan Moehring, spokesperson with U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  “The waters of the United States are protected by various statutes and as well as the migratory birds that frequent them, so the harming or killing of any migratory water foul is a serious offense. It’s a federal offense and it’s punishable under law.”

Agents say eight birds were taken to a rehabilitation location in the Boulder area. All have been treated and released back into the wild.

Agents are asking anyone who might have information on who is responsible to call them.

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