LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A family is sending a warning about visiting Zion National Park after their 6-month-old puppy died from a toxic algae bloom in one of the park’s rivers.
The family visited the park over the Fourth of July weekend. They were hiking and decided to cool off in the Virgin River.
Shortly after their dog left the water, they noticed she was acting strange. She couldn’t walk and was visibly in pain. The puppy died 20 minutes later.
Officials are trying to figure out how the bloom grew in the river. The blooms can last from days to several months and can be toxic enough to kill people and animals.
The harmful bacteria in the bloom was found in the North Fork of the river. Southern Utah public health officials have issued a public health warning.
Signs are now posted around the park warning visitors not to swim or drink water from the rivers.