More Than 100 Brown Pelicans Dead In Central Fla.

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Florida wildlife officials are trying to figure out why more than 100 brown pelicans have died between Melbourne and Merritt Island.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday it has sent samples two weeks ago to the National Wildlife Health Centers. But so far there is no conclusive answer.

Officials are now waiting for results from additional samples sent this week.

Researcher Dan Wolf says the pelicans are emaciated and have heavy parasite counts. He says they don’t believe other bird species have been affected.

Wildlife officials say it’s not advisable to handle sick or dead birds. And they ask people to report any dead or sick pelicans to the wildlife agency’s hotline at 888-404-3922.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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