Central Asia is facing an increasing environmental problem as this mystery disease is completely destroying the iconic animals.
Around 120,000 of the antelopes have died so far according to the unofficial reports; with the official reports currently around 85,000 and counting.
Aline Kühl-Stenzel, member of the UN Convention on Migratory Species, stated, “The current official figure is 85,000, but we are hearing unofficial estimates in excess of 100,000, approaching 120,000.”
Professionals from all over the globe began presenting their current findings as to what could be causing the issue today in Kazakhstan, with three different possibilities being investigated. Either the animals are suffering from hemolytic septicemia, epizootic hemorrhagic disease or toxemia caused by the clostridia bacteria. The first is caused by a bacteria that is normally harmless but can become fatal as well. The second is a viral disease transmitted mainly by mosquitos.
Experts are stating that the reason so many of the Saiga are dying at once is due to the fact that the females all calve in a single week and all die from excessive diarrhea and difficulty breathing.
“We have to do more tests to rule that out,” says Richard Kock, of the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, UK, on epizootic hemorrhagic disease. “We need all the lab tests to be completed and a comprehensive analysis before we can reach any firm conclusions.”
In New Scientist he stated more on the disease itself:
“It’s very dramatic and traumatic, with 100 percent mortality. I know of no example in history with this level of mortality, killing all the animals and all the calves.”
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