The City of Prince Rupert says 19 eagles are dead after someone dumped an unknown "deleterious substance" at a local landfill on Friday.

The city says it's investigating and trying to identify the substance while the clean up began the day it was discovered.

It says it also hired an environmental consultant to help identify the substance and help with a "long-term action plan."

The city says the spill happened at the facility's liquid waste site and was contained to a pond and didn't spread elsewhere throughout death of the eagles was "devastating" and felt deeply by staff.

The city says it's working with the provincial environment ministry and Environment Canada to help avoid a similar tragedy in the future and reworking an awareness campaign to warn of the dangers of dumping certain substances.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2024.

Keep reading