SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Monte James was out looking for pheasants on public land along the Missouri River Sunday afternoon when he noticed a lot of white along the shoreline. 

What James found was what he called “piles and piles” of dead and dying snow geese. He took multiple videos of the scene near Yankton. 

James said there appeared to be very little rotting so he believed many of the dead birds died recently. 

James did not reach out to officials with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department about what he found, but shared his story with KELOLAND News. 

According to the GFP website, symptoms of the Avian Flu for wild birds are edema or swelling of the head, nasal discharge, decreased activity, inability to swim/walk or take flight, ruffled feathers, diarrhea and tremors. South Dakota reported its first case of avian influenza in a commercial turkey farm in Beadle County in 2015. 

In March 2022, avian influenza was confirmed in two commercial turkey farms in Charles Mix County and in both snow geese and Canada geese in South Dakota.

GFP is working with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board and other state and federal agencies to respond to additional outbreaks. 

In October, state veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson told KELOLAND News there were 43 reported incidents of avian flu in commercial flocks and six in backyard flocks. 

In Nebraska, the state’s 13th case of bird flu was found in Dixon County, the state’s most northeast county that borders South Dakota. That case will prompt 1.8 million chickens to be killed. 

KELOLAND News has reached out to the GFP about how many reports of bird flu they’ve received and about James’ video. We’ll update this story when we receive a response.