NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – One day after refuting social media claims that “hundreds” or “dozens” of dead birds were found along the beach in North Myrtle Beach, city officials acknowledged that at least 10 more were discovered on Sunday.
According to information from the city of North Myrtle Beach, a member of the city’s beach patrol found about 10 more birds – a pelican that was barely alive and seagulls that had died.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was contacted and will take the birds.
Information from an SCDNR representative also brought into question just how many dead birds were found along the shore on Saturday.
According to the city, that SCDNR representative told a North Myrtle Beach official that he found 30 dead birds on Saturday. That was in contrast to the number made available to the city.
In a Saturday release, North Myrtle Beach officials stated two pelicans and another type of bird were found in one location, while several other birds were found in another spot.
“The bottom line is that birds perished and were found on our beach, and as of this writing we do not know why,” a post from the city released at 11 a.m. Sunday stated.
City officials continue to reiterate the animals’ deaths are not tied to beach renourishment efforts, noting fuel spills have not been identified offshore or onshore.
“Everyone wants to know. Residents or visitors, and people who have nothing to do with North Myrtle Beach, are just concerned with wildlife, the health of the ocean and that type of thing. We are too and we want to make sure we don’t have something in our area in the ocean that my cause further deaths," said Pat Dowling, Spokesperson for the City of North Myrtle Beach.
An updated post released around 3:10 p.m. Sunday stated that U.S. Coast Guard and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control personnel flew the coast, from Myrtle Beach to Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., and found no evidence of fuel spills.
Samples of each of the four species of birds represented among those that died will be examined at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Georgia.