Some 10,000 migrating snow geese have died after landing in a lake laden with toxic heavy metals and sulphuric acid.

Maintaining the lake, which has formed in an old open pit mine in Butte, Montana, is the responsibility of Montana Resources and Atlantic Richfield.

The companies participate in a Government-ordered ‘hazing’ scheme to scare geese with loud noises, instituted after a much smaller die-off in 1995.

Montana Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are using drones and aircraft to accurately count the number of dead birds, the Billings Gazette reported.

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