Kazakh environmentalists: Chemical poisoning may have played a part in saiga antelopes’ mass killing

Around 33% of the world’s population of saiga antelopes has died quite recently starting last month. The deaths were so sudden that has scientists’ baffled and some speculations started to appear that gave the whole thing a more sinister outlook.

Kazakhstan’s’ Ministry of Agriculture said there were 250,000 saiga antelopes in the previous month. With that number of population, one would think that whole conservation program was a great success. Yet, only after a month, 120,000 33% of that population died.

According to Biologist EJ Milner-Gulland, the guilty party is likely a rapidly spreading and lethal disease. Word from the U.N. says that Pasteurella and Clostridia, two types of microorganisms, are likely the culprits or reasons for the mass killings. Nonetheless, these microbes are known to be opportunistic, implying that they only attack creatures which are already weak and defenseless.

Another hypothesis by Kazakh environmentalists put the fault on Russians. As indicated by them, the deaths were brought on by rocket fuel pouring down from the jet fighters after a bombing raids in Kazakhstan.

Saigas are known for their remarkable look, having particularly long noses. During mating seasons, male saigas utilize their large nostrils to convey a particular kind of booming sounds emanating from their nose to attract mates.

Image: http://www.cms.int/

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