January 3, 2014 at 2:35 am #2015MikeKeymaster
Mysterious Seal Deaths in New England
U.S. government joins probe of mysterious seal deaths
Posted on October 6, 2011 by The Extinction Protocol
October 6, 2011 – BOSTON – Federal officials have joined an investigation into the mysterious deaths of young harbor seals on beaches across three New England states as the number of dead seals rose to 49.
Seals began washing up on the beaches of northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and southern Maine last week, said Maggie Mooney-Seus, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s office in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
“Some of them have been decomposed,” she told Reuters on Wednesday. “We’re hoping we’re not going to see a lot more. We don’t know at this point what’s caused it.”
The densest cluster of seal deaths has been along New Hampshire’s 18-mile (30-km) coast, where 17 seal carcasses have been recovered since Friday, said Tony Lacasse, a spokesman for the New England Aquarium in Boston.
The aquarium has conducted autopsies on three of the least-decomposed seals and found that they all had an adequate layer of blubber to survive.
That suggests the young seals did not die because of a failure to develop hunting skills, which causes the natural deaths of about 30 percent of harbor seals after they are weaned from their mother, Lecasse said.
“The results were a little surprising to us,” Lecasse said. “We’re doing tissue sampling and have sent those out to labs across the country.” -Reuters
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