Dead squirrels washing up on a Lake Michigan beach

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Dead squirrels have been washing up on a Lake Michigan beach at a state park.

The squirrels likely drowned while trying to cross the Grand River and then flowed to the lake and Grand Haven State Park, an expert said.

Nick Kalejs, a wildlife biologist at the Muskegon State Game Area, estimates about 100 in recent weeks.

“I don’t think people should be unduly alarmed,” Kalejs told MLive.com. “It’s always distressing to see dead animals, and we certainly don’t want any animal to suffer. There does seem to be some (precedent) for this type of thing, and hopefully it won’t last too much longer.”

Squirrels can swim, he said, but "clearly not all of them make it."

The effort to get across the river could be related to food scarcity.