53 dead fur seals wash up on Australian beach

Jan 17, 2012
This file photo shows a baby fur seal on a beach near Dunedin, in 2011. More than 50 dead New Zealand fur seals have been found washed up on a beach in South Australia in unexplained circumstances, environmental officials said on Tuesday.

More than 50 dead New Zealand fur seals have been found washed up on a beach in South Australia in unexplained circumstances, according to environmental officials.

The discovery was made on Sunday in the remote Lincoln National Park with three of the seals taken to the University of Adelaide where post-mortem examinations were carried out Tuesday.

The South Australia Department of Environment and Natural Resources said 51 of the were and two were considered young adults.

"Our scientists conducted autopsies on the three but they are quite badly decomposed and the results were inconclusive," a university spokesman said.

"They can't rule out people doing the wrong thing or foul play but they're leaning towards there potentially being some kind of infection."

The would be sent for further tests, he added.

New Zealand fur seals, generally considered docile, are found along Australia's southern coast and the coast of New Zealand's South Island.

The spokesman said there were some rocky outcrops off the Lincoln National Park coast that the seals used for breeding.

Explore further: Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

DNA reveals hooded seals have wanderlust

May 09, 2007

Researchers have discovered that hooded seals, a mysterious mammal that spends all but a few days each year in the ocean, are all closely related.

US probes mystery disease killing Arctic seals

Oct 15, 2011

US scientists are hoping to uncover answers behind a mysterious disease that has emerged in Arctic seal populations, causing skin lesions, lethargy and death, officials said Friday.

Recommended for you

Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

7 hours ago

The Natural History Museum of Denmark recently discovered a unique gift from one of the greatest-ever scientists. In 1854, Charles Darwin – father of the theory of evolution – sent a gift to his Danish ...

Top ten reptiles and amphibians benefitting from zoos

9 hours ago

A frog that does not croak, the largest living lizard, and a tortoise that can live up to 100 years are just some of the species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report.

User comments : 0