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East Bay Parks warns of toxic mushrooms amid rainy weather

District: Collecting mushrooms is illegal, dangerous

Given the rainy weather in the region the past couple of weeks, the East Bay Regional Park District is issuing its annual warning to avoid certain wild mushrooms that can be harmful or fatal to people and pets.

The death cap and western destroying angel can both be found in the area of the park district during rainy weather. The mushrooms contain amatoxins, molecules that can cause gastrointestinal distress and renal failure if not treated immediately.

The mushrooms typically grow near oak trees, with the death cap looking like a medium-to-large mushroom with a greenish-gray cap, white gills, a white ring around the stem and a large white sac at the base of the stem, according to the park district.

The western destroying angel mushroom is medium-to-large and usually has a creamy white cap, white gills, a white ring around the stem and a thin white sac at the base, district officials said.

Collecting mushrooms within the park district is illegal, and the district advised people to also keep an eye on their pets and to contact a veterinarian if they suspect a pet ate a toxic mushroom.

More information about the mushrooms of the Bay Area can be found at www.bayareamushrooms.org.

— Bay City News Service

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