Thousands of dead seals wash up on Russia’s Caspian shore

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Around 2,500 endangered seals have been found dead on Russia’s Caspian coast, a state-run news agency reported Sunday, citing authorities in the North Caucasus region.

Caspian seals, the only mammals found in the Caspian Sea, have been classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list since 2008.

The seals washed up on the coast of the Russia’s republic of Dagestan, along the Caspian Sea, the largest landlocked body of water in the world, which is bordered by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan.

Dagestan’s Ministry of Natural Resources said the animals had died of “natural factors” and warned that the number of dead seals was likely to be much higher.

Judging by their appearance, the seals died about two weeks ago and there were “no signs of violent death, no remains of fishing nets,” the ministry said.

According to the news agency, inspectors were patrolling the coastline in search of additional dead seals. Meanwhile, specialists from the Caspian Environmental Center were analyzing samples from the dead seals to identify the cause of death.


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