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BY LAURA ZUCKERMAN

A poison used on cropland to kill rodents also killed at least a handful of more than 2,000 snow geese that fell dead from the sky in Idaho while migrating to nesting grounds on the coast of Alaska, state wildlife officials said on Friday.

The carcasses of the snow geese were found in March in eastern Idaho, where dozens of state Department of Fish and Game workers and volunteers retrieved and incinerated most of the dead birds to avoid spreading what biologists believed to be avian cholera.

But testing by a state lab of a small number of sample carcasses indicated several of those birds died from zinc phosphide poisoning, while lab results were inconclusive for avian cholera, said Fish and Game spokesman Mike Demick.

“Avian cholera may have played a part in the die-off, but to what extent is unknown,” he said in a statement.

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