Syncrude says duck death toll was 3 times original estimate

Three times as many ducks died in a northern Alberta tailings pond last year than the 500 originally estimated, Syncrude Canada announced Tuesday.

"We can now tell you that the final number is 1,606 birds," Syncrude president and CEO Tom Katinas said

In late April 2008, migrating ducks landed on a tailings pond on Syncrude's Aurora oilsands site.

The company failed to deploy the air cannons it uses to scare the birds away because of severe winter weather. The ducks landed on the open water and sank to the bottom of the lake after they were coated in oil.

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