Authorities said Wednesday they
were investigating the deaths of some 60 seals, both adults
and stillborn pups, found on the coast of a Anholt, a
Danish island midway between Denmark and Sweden.
The island is a sanctuary for roughly 250 seals - part of
the estimated 10,000 common seals that live in Kattegat,
the Baltic Sea waterway between the two Scandinavian
Autopsies indicated «they likely died of a bacteria
infection in their respiratory system,» said Per Leth
Soerensen, of the government Danish Forest and Nature
Agency. More tests will be carried out to identify the
bacteria, he said.
The corpses have been found on the southern sandy beaches
of Anholt, a scarcely populated island some 150 kilometers
(90 miles) northwest of the capital, Copenhagen, Leth
Leth Soerensen said the agency would contact its
counterparts in other countries surrounding the Baltic Sea
to find out whether they have received similar reports.
"There are probably more dead animals out there that
eventually will wash up on nearby shores," he said.
In 1988, several hundreds seals in the North Sea died
after suffering a pneumonia that had been caused by virus,
but Leth Soerensen said he did not think the situations
"Our first guess is that it has nothing to the 1988
deaths," he said.