Toxicology report of tissue samples provided to department Jan. 20th
PRATT -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) is investigating the recent deaths of several wild turkeys in Logan County. A toxicology report of tissue samples received by KDWP Jan. 20 concluded that ingestion of zinc or aluminum phosphide was the cause of the birds’ deaths. Cause of death for a nearby raccoon was identified as anticoagulant rodenticide intoxication.

Between Jan. 4 and 6, multiple groups of wild turkeys were found dead in and around the town of Russell Springs. On Jan. 4, seven wild turkeys and one raccoon were found dead on private property north of Russell Springs. On Jan. 6, 26 turkeys were found dead in a park in Russell Springs, and nine more turkeys were found dead on private property west of Russell Springs.

KDWP staff investigated all three sites, and collected two specimens from each site for toxicology testing. The tissue samples were sent to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and test results were provided to KDWP Jan. 20.

Zinc phosphide is a rodenticide most commonly sold as a grain-based formulation. Aluminum phosphide is used primarily to fumigate grain storage areas and is used less commonly in rodenticides. The toxicology report indicated that zinc phosphide is more likely to be the compound which caused the death of the turkeys.