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Hundreds of dead, injured birds found along shorelines of Ontario's Georgian Bay

Barrie, Ont. -

Warning: Some people may find the details of this story disturbing.

An investigation is underway after hundreds of dead and injured birds washed up on the shores of Southern Georgian Bay.

The Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge is involved in the investigation that spans beaches in Collingwood, Midland and Tiny Township.

Experts from the refuge say the birds are fish eaters and have likely consumed bacteria from the fish, which ultimately causes the birds to develop a form of botulism.

Some of the birds were seen struggling along the shoreline and the rescue organization says it is trying to save as many of them as possible.

A dead bird is found on the shoreline in Wasaga Beach, Ont. (Supplied)

The rescue organization is trying to save as many of the birds as possible.

"A lot of them are arctic birds, and there are loons, and grebes, and many, many species that already face so many hardships," said Shades of Hope Director Cathy Stockman.

"To have this potentially kill thousands of these birds is just beyond," she added.

Ten years ago, nearly 6,000 birds washed up on the shores. Authorities believed botulism was to blame in that case.

Botulism is a serious illness caused by toxins that can induce difficulty breathing, paralysis, and death. Top Stories

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