Several days ago, The Associated Press [via Washington Post] reported a large handful of ringed seals had been found along the Alaskan shore with a mysterious illness.
According to the article, 107 seals appeared along the Beaufort sea coast with “lesions, patchy hair loss and skin irritation around the nose and eyes” between August and September. Half the seals found have since died.
Further examination of the sick seals showed additional internal lesions. The illness is being investigated further, but no conclusive answer has been found. Though ringed seals seem to be the only species affected, the article states similar events have occurred in Canada and Russia.
The article also suggests a solution might be tricky to find, since ringed seals “are smallest and most numerous ice seals but are one of the hardest to count because they are spread over hundreds of miles of remote ocean.”
What do you think is causing the mysterious illness?
Read the Associated Press article here