Raccoon deaths at N.B. lake prompt provincial investigation
A provincial investigation is underway at a popular lake in New Brunswick after three dead raccoons were discovered there.
The dead raccoons were recently found at Ritchie Lake in Quispamsis, N.B. Experts are trying to determine if a bloom of potentially deadly blue-green algae is to blame.
"It's a popular spot. There are lots of kids here that use the park right here quite a bit, and people wanting to enjoy the water," said Rob Outerbridge, a resident of Quispamsis.
Advisories have been placed around the beachfront advising residents that an investigation is underway into whether there's cyanobacteria in the water.
"The raccoons were discovered earlier this week. We notified the provincial government," said Quispmasis spokesperson, Aaron Kennedy. "The raccoons were removed and they've been sent to Fredericton for further examination and since that time, we've advised the public that we're not exactly sure what's going on here."
Local residents are concerned with the uncertainty of the cause of death, especially those whose lives revolve around the lake.
"My daughter swims in it, but I won't be letting her swim in it until we have another advisory," said Quispamsis resident, Joe McMenamon.
"I think it's quite concerning what it does to the wildlife as well as, dogs, and pet dogs, and even though this isn't a dog swimming beach, I'm sure there are dogs that go in the water," said Outerbridge.
Water samples have been taken by the Provincial Department of Environment and local government.
Although the test results aren't back yet, Kennedy believes the water is just fine.
"But we thought it was important, because the raccoons were discovered, to let the public know that they should potentially take precautions just in case," said Kennedy.
The town of Quispamsis is asking anyone who may know what happened to the animals to share that information with them.
Kennedy says it could take about two weeks to get the results back from the province and find out exactly what is happening at Ritchie Lake.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Lyall