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Number of dead bald eagles in Utah now at 40

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah wildlife officials say the number of bald eagles that appear to have died from West Nile Virus has climbed to 40.

Leslie McFarlane, a wildlife disease coordinator with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, told The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gclFfe) on Monday that besides the 40 dead birds, there are five others in rehabilitation centers.

McFarlane says the number of dead eagles should start to drop off as the spread of infection appears to have slowed.

Wildlife officials first started finding the birds on Dec. 1 with head tremors and signs of weakness and paralysis.

They were not sure what was killing the animals until last week, when they received test results.

They suspect the animals contracted West Nile by eating dead aquatic birds that were infected with the disease.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

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