mysterious animal deaths

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Knoxville Zoo Suffers a 'Catastrophic' Animal Loss

Zoo can't explain why 33 reptiles were found dead

(Newser) - Thirty-three reptiles were found dead last week at a Tennessee zoo, and officials there say they have no clues yet about how it happened. Zoo Knoxville told local news outlets that nearly all of the dead animals were snakes. They were all found dead in the reptile area. Surviving animals... More »

It Wasn't Booze That Killed Famed Swimming Pigs

It was sand, apparently

(Newser) - When a spate of unexplained deaths among the famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas made headlines last week, one of the wilder theories was that tourists were getting them drunk on alcohol in fatal quantities. The real reason appears to be less sensational: sand. Veterinarians examining the bodies of some... More »

Country Horrified by Beating Death of Beloved Hippo

Gustavito was killed after brutal beating at El Salvador's national zoo

(Newser) - El Salvador's widespread violence reached an unexpected corner with the brutal and fatal beating of the national zoo's beloved hippopotamus Gustavito. Even among a population numbed by a staggering human death toll due to gang violence in recent years, the animal's death late Sunday stirred outrage. Salvadorans... More »

Up to 95 Dolphins Die in Everglades

They became stuck in mangroves and on mudflats

(Newser) - At least 82 dolphins, including juveniles and calves, have died in a mysterious incident in a remote section of Florida's Everglades National Park. Officials say 95 dolphins—a particular species known as false killer whales, which typically swim at depths of 3,000 feet—were seen stranded in the... More »

Baby Whale Killers May Have Come From the Sky

It might be from 'gull harassment,' scientists say

(Newser) - Scientists have been scratching their heads over hundreds of baby whales that perished off the coast of Argentina between 2013 and 2014, but a new study points the finger at a possible cause, or at least a contributing factor: pesky seagulls, Live Science reports. The study published in PLoS One ... More »

Something Just Killed 120K Endangered Antelopes

A herd of 60K saigas in Kazakhstan died in only 4 days

(Newser) - An already critically endangered species has been driven even further to the brink after an insane population decline compounded by the fact that scientists are at a loss to explain it. Initially, scientists weren’t too perturbed to hear some saigas—a type of antelope that inhabits Kazakhstan, Russia, and... More »

Dozens of Whales Are Mysteriously Dying in Alaska

NOAA will investigate 30 deaths since May

(Newser) - Some 30 large whales have been found dead in the western Gulf of Alaska since May and the NOAA wants to know why. The agency says it is opening a scientific investigation into what is calls an "unusual mortality event," with the number of whale deaths at three... More »

Thousands of Fish Mysteriously Die in NJ

Fish are being tested to determine cause of death

(Newser) - It's an alarming find: Tens of thousands of fish have mysteriously died in New Jersey's Shark River. The dead bunker fish have been found both floating and washed up on shore near the docks in Belmar. The mayor calls the situation "highly unusual," and health officials... More »

Starfish Ripping Off Own Arms

Reports of 'sea star wasting syndrome' get more disturbing

(Newser) - Scientists are still trying to figure out why starfish are dying in massive numbers, turning into what one taxonomist described as "goo piles." The latest news on the die-off is similarly disturbing: One biology professor studied sea stars suffering from what is being called "sea star wasting... More »

Bee Die-Offs Tied to Tobacco Plant 'STD'

Tobacco ringspot virus jumped from tobacco to soy to bees: study

(Newser) - Honeybees have been dying in huge numbers since 2006, and a new study finds that a virus may be one cause. The tobacco ringspot virus has mutated quickly and jumped from tobacco plants to soy plants to bees, researchers say, and the annual increase in honeybee deaths between autumn and... More »

Something Killed 100K Fish in Nevada Marina

Officials say cold snap could be partially to blame

(Newser) - State wildlife officials are trying to figure out why all the fish have died in a northern Nevada marina where the stocked fishery has flourished since the man-made lake was created nearly 15 years ago. An estimated 100,000 trout, bass, and catfish have died over the past month in... More »

Central America Hit By Mass Die-Off of Sea Turtles

Scientists aren't sure what's going on

(Newser) - Between late September and mid-October, 114 sea turtles washed up dead on El Salvador's beaches. All across Central America, the same thing is happening: In Guatemala, 115 have died this year; in Costa Rica, 280; late last year, 200 died in Panama. In Nicaragua, in addition to the turtle... More »

Starfish Turning Into 'Goo Piles'

Researchers not sure what's causing 'sea star wasting syndrome'

(Newser) - A mystery in the waters along the East Coast—and the West: Starfish are deteriorating, shedding limbs and ending up as "goo piles," which is the actual term used by a taxonomist with the Vancouver Aquarium. "That's as technical as it gets right now," she... More »

Dolphin Deaths Skyrocket Off East Coast

Reports cite 7 times more deaths than usual in July

(Newser) - Bottlenose dolphins off the East Coast are suffering what officials have dubbed an "unusual mortality event." There have been 124 strandings reported between Virginia and New York since July, with 89 occurring in that month—a figure some seven times higher than July's usual death rate, the... More »

Die-Off of Manatees, Dolphins Baffles in Florida

Hundreds have died since last July in Indian River Lagoon; pelicans also hard-hit

(Newser) - Hundreds of manatees, dolphins, and pelicans are dying in Florida's Indian River Lagoon, and authorities don't know why. Some of the manatees—111 have perished since last July—have died so quickly, they still have food in their mouths, Wired reports; they appear to have died from shock... More »

Racehorses Are Dropping Dead in California

17 confusing deaths since July

(Newser) - Racehorses that die in California are subject to one of the country's most comprehensive post-mortem reviews, and what those reviews are finding—or not finding—is unsettling. Racehorses have been dropping dead in the state, and no one knows why, reports the New York Times . Nineteen died in in... More »

Now 1K Dead Ducks Pulled From China River

As number of dead pigs passes 16K

(Newser) - First Shanghai pulled thousands of dead pigs from one of its rivers; now another river in China is experiencing a similarly disturbing problem. One thousand dead ducks have been pulled from Nanhe river in Sichuan province, the BBC reports. Residents found the duck carcasses inside more than 50 woven bags... More »

Peru: Climate Change Behind Dead Animals?

Dead dolphins, birds could have been affected by warming waters

(Newser) - Peru may finally have an answer for the 5,000 birds and nearly 900 dolphins that have died on its northern coast: climate change. As waters warm, food supply is disrupted, says the country’s deputy environment minister. A weather expert also confirms warmer waters due to El Niño... More »

Peru: Steer Clear of Beach Til We Solve Animal Mystery

Government claims virus, starvation likely causes of dolphin, bird deaths

(Newser) - Peru insists that the hundreds of dead dolphins that have washed up on its coast are not related to the hundreds of dead seabirds that also recently began turning up. But no definitive cause has yet been released, three months after the government started testing the dolphins, and some are... More »

Cape Cod Awash in Mass Dolphin Strandings

177 dolphins beached in past month

(Newser) - Over the past month, 177 dolphins have stranded themselves on Cape Cod , nearly five times the average of a typical full year, and 124 of those have died. As researchers struggle to understand what's behind the mass beachings, the International Fund for Animal Welfare works to help the dolphins... More »

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