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Massive Death Connections PT3

♦March 21, 2011-South Carolina USA-Morris Island – A large pygmy sperm whale carcass washed up by the Morris Island lighthouse and was found over the weekend. It was too decomposed to say what killed it, researchers concluded. The whale stranding follows a string of 13 bottlenose dolphin carcasses since late February. And a marine mammal stranding crew was in Charleston Harbor Monday recovering another dolphin carcass. But the pygmy sperm carcass is only the second whale to wash up on a South Carolina beach this year. A dwarf sperm whale was discovered in January. The 11-foot-long male whale found on Morris Island didn’t appear to have any external wounds, said Wayne McFee, National Ocean Service marine mammal stranding program scientist. Its organ were so far gone “there wasn’t a whole lot we can tell with this one,” he said. The ocean service lab is waiting the results of pathology tests of the dwarf sperm whale, he said.

♦March 19th, 2011-Berlin-Knut lived in Berlin’s zoo. He was 4 and raised by zookeepers since a cub after his mother rejected him. Now reports say the attention-loving polar bear was found dead in a pool in his cage at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin Saturday, with no immediate cause of death announced. This is awful,” said Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit said, according to the Sydney (Australia) Herald. “We had all taken him to our hearts. He was the star of the Berlin Zoo.” Most reports say Knut was alone when he died, as visitors watched him suddenly fall into the water. The celebrity news site carried news of his death and says People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ German branch had previously complained that his mother and other bears were tormenting Knut. And a PETA rep told TMZ that polar bears don’t belong in captivity.

♦March 18th, 2011-Australia-The surviving whales from a pod of 30 which stranded on Bruny Island in southern Tasmanian have been returned to the water. Parks and wildlife rescuers worked under the light of a full moon to free 11 long-finned pilot whales on a beach on South Bruny Island. The Parks and Wildlife Service’s Rosemary Gales says the animals were returned to the water about 4:30am (AEDT) and have swum away. “There’s just been a sighting of some live whales that they’re going to check out to determine if they’re the same ones,” she said.

♦March 18th, 2011-USA-Despite what she called an “unusual mortality event” killing dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, the top federal scientist investigating the deaths, revealed Wednesday that the government has yet to send any tissue samples for laboratory testing to determine a cause. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Blair Mase blamed the delay on complications related to oil spill litigation. A letter sent by NOAA to groups authorized to collect tissue samples from dead dolphins described the work as “a criminal investigation,” according to Mase. Nine more dolphin carcasses were recovered in Alabama and Mississippi between Saturday and Wednesday, bringing the total for the two states to 62 since Jan. 1, according to a list compiled Wednesday by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.

Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:04am-Thousands of Fish Die in South Wales-Described as “just a massive amount of fish floating” is what these little silver perch are tagged as. People have reported tens of thousands to millions dead.

♦March 14th, 2011-California-An Azeri scientist has linked the recent incident of California’s mass fish death to the earthquake in Japan. “Animals, they feel everything. They run away from earthquakes however they can,” Gurban Jalal Etirmishli, the general director of the Azerbijan Science Academy’s Republican Center for Seismology, told Life News, a Russian tabloid. More than a million sardines washed up on California’s Redondo Beach last week. Scientists say they suffered from a lack of oxygen, but some reports have said they were found to have high toxin levels. “During the first underground movements on March 8, toxic gases and even radiation could have oozed out, becoming a reason for the death of the fish,” Etirmishli said. “If, in the near future, a similar thing happens, it can be a sign of a coming earthquake.”

March 13th, 2011-Acapulco-The shores of Acapulco’s beaches were this weekend teeming with masses of fish packed so tightly they looked like an oil slick from above. Thousands of sardines, anchovies, stripped bass and mackerel surged along the coast of the Mexican resort in an event believed to be linked to the devastating Japanese tsunami.

A fisherman uses a plastic bag to catch fish as a large school of fish swims near the coast of Acapulco, Mexico, Friday, March 11, 2011. According to local fishermen, they had never seen such large schools of fish swim so close to the coast.

March 12th, 2011-Acapulco-Masses of sardines, anchovies, stripped bass and mackerel surged close to shore Friday on one beach in the Mexican resort city, packed so tightly near the surface they looked like an oil slick from above. Delighted fishermen rushed out in wooden motor boats, abandoning their rods and nets and simply scooping the fish up with buckets. “It was so much fun. There were about 20 or 30 fishermen and there were people who came with their kids to take advantage of it,” fisherman Carlos Morales said. The fishermen attributed the strange phenomenon to the unusual currents unleashed by tsunami that followed the earthquake in Japan.

March 12th, 2011 -India-Close on the heels of the detection of bird flu at two government-run farms in western Tripura, mysterious deaths of some animals and birds at the Sepahijala Zoo has put the authorities on alert. ‘Since last week three leopards, one wild cat and 13 birds, including some extremely endangered species, have been found dead at the zoo enclosures. We have sent samples to state and national level laboratories,’ director of Sepahijala Zoo and head of the wildlife sanctuary Ajit Bhowmik told IANS Saturday. He said: ‘The samples have been tested by the Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ERDDL) in Kolkata and the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal. No indication of avian influenza or swine influenza has been found.’

Delighted fishermen rushed out in wooden motor boats, abandoning their rods and nets and simply scooping the fish up with buckets.

March 5th, 2011 -UK

Tragic: A Kent Coastguard and a police officer next to the dead body of a sperm whale, showing the scale of the 45ft-long mammal at Pegwell Bay in Kent.

A whale found dead off the south coast starved to death, initial findings have revealed. The 45ft long sperm whale was found stranded on a beach in Pegwell Bay, off the Kent coast, yesterday. The juvenile male had not eaten for some time and had become dehydrated, a preliminary post-mortem examination found Scientists from the Zoological Society of London carried out the investigation as part of the Defra funded collaborative UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP). Rob Deaville, project manager of the CSIP, said: ‘Preliminary results from the post-mortem examination indicate that the whale had not fed for a long time, suggesting it had become dehydrated, which most likely played a role in its live stranding. ‘Further tests will now be carried out to determine the full picture’. The mammal was spotted at yesterday morning and although rescuers were called it later died. Whale beachings are rarely explained. Scientists attribute them to natural and environmental factors such as rough weather, weakness due to old age, hunting too close to shore and navigation errors

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