SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources now has the test results back from swans that were found dead in Davis and Salt Lake counties earlier this month.
On Nov. 14, several residents called in reports of dead or injured swans. The night before, the area experienced a storm that involved powerful winds, hail, snow and lightning.
Six dead and five injured swans were reported that day. Those injured were taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, located in Ogden, while some of the ones found dead were sent to a lab where they had necropsies performed.
DWR officials initially suspected the storm had something to do with the unusual occurrence, but the test results strongly indicated that the extreme weather was indeed the cause.
DWR spokeswoman Faith Heaton Jolley told FOX 13 that the results showed blunt force injuries, which led them to believe the birds experienced high-speed impacts with the ground or stationary objects. Some even broke outdoor tables or damaged boats parked in residents' driveways.
Jolley said the swans were likely brought down by the strong wind.
And while the DWR's Mark Hadley said on the day the animals were found that he hadn't seen anything like this in nearly 25 years with the agency, the numbers have grown even higher since. Jolley said Tuesday that they had collected 36 dead swans and eight injured — and they were still receiving reports as people continued to find them.
Jolley also said no other species seemed to be affected so heavily by the storm. It was unknown exactly why that was, but she said they are migrating through the area around this time and most of those killed or injured appeared to have been in flight.
Anyone who finds dead or injured swans or any other wildlife is asked to call their nearest DWR office.