More than 100 dead salamanders discovered in woman’s garage

Haylie Burg said she found more than 100 dead salamanders in piles across her garage. (Source: KPHO, KTVK, HAYLIE BURG, TIKTOK, CNN, Haylie Burg/TikTok)
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 12:56 PM EDT
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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) – A woman in Arizona said she was thrown off by an awful smell when she returned to a vacation home in the northern part of the state.

Haylie Burg said the garage door wouldn’t open because storms knocked the power out, and when she went through the front door, she noticed the awful stench.

“It kept getting stronger and stronger the closer I’d get to the garage,” she said.

Burg said she found more than 100 dead salamanders in piles across her garage.

“I had to clean up like 30-40 in the first. And in the second pile, I’d say maybe 60-70 in there,” she said.

Burg noticed some steel wool on the corners of the garage was missing and believes that could be how they could’ve gotten in.

Cale Morris with the Phoenix Herpetological Society said salamanders need to stay cool in moist environments to survive.

He said it’s rare to see that many salamanders together in the same place.

“We usually only see it around water sources, so it’s mostly ponds or water like a retention basin holding a large amount of water. I think they got trapped in there with no water,” Morris said.

Burg said there is a golf course with a pond nearby but said their house is on top of a hill, so she was surprised to see them in her garage.

While most of the salamanders in Burg’s garage were dead, she said her dad found a few still alive.