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Mass loss of seals at Lake Baikal could cause a shortage of food - prosecutor - EastRussia | Far East

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Mass loss of seals on Lake Baikal could cause a shortage of food - the prosecutor

Bedfight could be one of the natural factors that caused the massive death of seals on Lake Baikal, Interfax reported on Wednesday with reference to the West Baikal environmental prosecutor Alexei Kalinin.

"Yesterday we conducted a comprehensive raid along the coast of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk region, where we found seals. The dead animals were all hungry - they had no food in their stomachs at the time of death. The matter is that the seal could die, or weaken, which provoked death, from a lack of food base. Perhaps we are observing a natural mechanism for regulating the size of the population, which scientists told us about. Specialists seized two carcasses of seals to conduct an autopsy and study in detail what it was eating and in what physical condition it was, "the prosecutor's agency said. According to him, the lack of food can be caused by a significant increase in the population of the Baikal seal, fixed in recent years. "Local people say that in the south of Lake Baikal there are not enough fish," he added, adding that the seal feeds not on the Baikal omul, but on smaller fish.

The prosecutor said that at the present time the “human factor” is practically excluded as the cause of death. “There were no wounds on animal carcasses that poachers could inflict on them, or that they could have gotten entangled in poacher nets. The animals were not thrown onto the shore - they died in the water, and then their carcasses carried the waves. They died not simultaneously - at different times, in two days. Witnesses say that these are not the first facts of the death of the seal, before the carcass has already been brought to the shore, but it was considered that this is normal - natural death in natural conditions, ”his words are quoted in the message.

As reported, according to preliminary data of the territorial administration of the Rosselkhoznadzor, the seal died from cardiac arrest due to unknown reasons. Laboratory tests did not reveal any plague of carnivores. Tests for other dangerous diseases - hepatitis, enteritis, bacterial and parasitic infections - are still ongoing. In total, on the coast of Lake Baikal, at the end of October, 132 carcasses of dead seals were found, of which 38 - in the Irkutsk Region, the rest - in Buryatia.