‘Nearly impossible’ raccoon died from drinking water in American Fork Canyon

Posted at 1:48 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 16:06:26-04

WARNING: Video below shows dying raccoon. Viewer discretion advised. 

AMERICAN FORK CANYON, Utah – Wildlife Program Manager of the Central Region Riley Peck spoke to Fox 13 about  the chance a dying raccoon had consumed contaminated water from American Fork Canyon.

A homeowner in the Highland area near American Fork Canyon, Mark Bagley, posted a video on YouTube describing and showing a dying raccoon that he claims died from drinking the water in the canyon. 

His post was shared on social media through the Protect and Preserve American Fork Canyon Facebook page and has been viewed thousands of times.

Peck said after watching the video and speaking with Bagley, that it is, “Highly unlikely and nearly impossible for the raccoon to have died from drinking the water.”

He said the sediment does have lead in it; however, for an animal to die from drinking it, the creature would need to consume 100 pounds of water since the sediment was released.

Fox 13 also spoke with the central region’s biologist Mike Slater, who said the fish that died last week from the sediment release likely died from suffocating, lack of oxygen in the water, and not from what was in the sediment.

Both Peck and Slater said there have been no other reports of animals getting sick from the canyon water.

They do not recommend people drink the canyon water and say they have never said it was “safe” to drink.