An outbreak of bird flu has decimated a population of swans and other water fowl in the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach.

Mayor Paul Kanitra confirms the death of 30 infected swans and geese around Lake of the Lilies.

The Point Pleasant Beach Police Department urged residents to use caution around the lake.  "Residents are asked to avoid interacting with any sick, injured or deceased water fowl while these incidents are being investigated," the department posted on Facebook.

The graceful swans have been a popular attraction for local residents, tourists and nature photographers for years.

Kanitra told, "Our hope is that it will fully run its course soon."

This is the latest outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza that has moved through multiple bird populations in New Jersey in recent weeks.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture continues working to contain the pathogen.

An infection among birds at the Popcorn Park Zoo and Animal Refuge forced the facility to close for about a week in October.

Department of Agriculture officials would not reveal the location of the flock, or what types of birds were effected, but says the area was placed on quarantine.

A flock of 60 birds were found to be infected in Monmouth County last may. The birds were part of a backyard flock, and were euthanized.

The CDC also reported another outbreak in Warren county earlier this month that involved six backyard birds.

Wild waterfowl often carry the disease and spread it to other bird populations. It remains a significant threat to both wild and domestic flocks.

Infectious disease experts are also increasingly concerned about the potential impact to humans.

He said if avian influenza “does jump and starts propagating through people, and it would be a totally new flu virus for people, you run the risk of a pandemic. That would sound global alarm bells," he said.

Previous reporting from David Matthau was used for this story.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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