9 More Creepy, Mysterious Animal Deaths
Giant squids, a beloved swan, and ... suicidal cows?
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2011 3:49 PM CST
This March 2005 image provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service shows a beak of a Humboldt squid.   (AP Photo/National Marine Fisheries Service)

(Newser) – Massive animal die-offs are totally normal—but that doesn't mean they're all free of mystery. On the heels of the Arkansas bird deaths that started it all, the Daily Beast reminds us of 9 other recent (sometimes suspicious, sometimes creepy) animal deaths:

  • John Boy Walton, the much-loved swan who called Brooklyn's Prospect Park home, was found dead in March. Investigators, pointing to the swan's swollen leg, said another swan was to blame. But an autopsy wasn't performed, and John Boy's death followed that of a duck and a turtle in the park ... and the appearance of animal body parts.

  • A huge number of bats fell victim to the mysterious White Nose Syndrome beginning in 2006, after developing an odd white fungus on their nose, ears, and wings.
  • In August 2009, the bodies of 28 cows and bulls were found at the bottom of cliffs in the Swiss Alps. Among the theories: suicide, thunderstorms that spooked them, or accidental stumbling while grazing.
  • A 4.0 magnitude earthquake rumbled the streets of La Jolla, Calif., on July 11, 2009. Dozens of jumbo squid washed ashore an hour later, but it may have just been a coincidence. Scientists said seismic waves wouldn't kill the creatures, and pointed to changing water temps, or the ingestion of toxins, as possible culprits.
Click for the complete list of animal deaths.