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Experts: Beloved plover Monty died of respiratory infection

May 31, 2022 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — A necropsy on a a beloved, endangered shorebird in Chicago named Monty the Piping Plover shows he died of a respiratory infection, experts said Tuesday.

The Lincoln Park Zoo said it partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Illinois Zoological Pathology Program to determine the bird’s cause of death.

The severe fungal respiratory infection included a laryngitis that restricted Monty’s airway, the zoo announced.

Additional testing is being conducted to identify the fungus but it is suspected of being environmental in origin, the zoo said.

Further testing concluded Monty did not show any signs of high pathogenic avian influenza, also known as bird flu, that has been spreading in several states, the zoo said.

Monty died May 13 at Chicago’s Montrose beach.

His remains will be provided to the Field Museum’s avian department to be available for future studies that contribute to the recovery of the Great Lake piping plovers, the zoo said.