Something fishy is happening in Miami as thousands of pricy koi fish have turned up dead at several homes and a city park. It's more than fish, birds, plants, and wild raccoons are mysterious dying, according to local news WPLG Local 10.
The epicenter of the thousands of dead koi is happening in Coconut Grove, a shoreline neighborhood in Miami bordering Biscayne Bay. Homeowners in the community report thousands of their fish have "all of a sudden died."
"We're not talking about a couple of fish or even hundreds of fish. We're talking about thousands of fish that, all of a sudden, have turned up dead," said WPLG.
No one seems to know why the koi are suddenly dying. What's troubling is the sudden death of the fish is happening across the neighborhood.
Resident Lee Marks woke up Saturday morning to koi and other exotic fish dead in his pond.
"All these beautiful coy fish and other fish just dead," he said. "It's just awful. It's horrible."
Marks and other residents are demanding answers as to why their fish in backyard ponds are dying.
"They just all don't die at once like that," he said.
Pond Doctors, a Miami-based company focused on maintaining private ponds, told WPLG their crews have responded to "devastating fish kills" at four homes in the Coconut Grove neighborhood in the last two weeks.
"Thousands of fish have turned up dead from one day to the next, all in the same area," said Jen Wheeler, the owner of Pond Doctors.
"To have them suddenly pass away for some unknown reason is really scary because you also start to think what else is this affecting," Wheeler said. "Other than the fish that we are in love with."
WPLG adds it's more than fish. Local wildfire is also mysterious dying, including birds, plants, and mammals.
Marks said a raccoon convulsed and died in his yard.
"It came up right up the driveway and turned on its side," Marks said. "It looked like it might be playful, but it was convulsing and just died."
Wheeler said the oxygen levels in all the neighborhood ponds were normal and serviced regularly.
"To have so many animals affected by this, something is going on," she said.
Wheeler called Miami-Dade County to see if mosquito companies had recently sprayed in the area. The answer local government officials gave her was that spraying last occurred in 2017.
Dead fish have also turned up in Miami's Simpson Park. The common theme with all these ponds is the source of water is connected to a local aquifer.
"We're still trying to figure out what's in the groundwater and what is causing it," Wheeler said.
The "canary in the coal mine" is the sudden death of koi and other animals and how something toxic could be lurking in the area's aquifer.