“Diseased Alaska seals tested for radiation have abnormal brain growths, undersized lymph nodes — Environmental cause indicated — Also found in Russia, Canada — Bacteria becoming blood borne — White spots on liver”
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (REUTERS) – Symptoms of a mysterious disease that has killed scores of seals off Alaska and infected walruses are now showing up in polar bears, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said on Friday.
Nine polar bears from the Beaufort Sea region near Barrow were found with patchy hair loss and oozing sores on their skin, similar to conditions found in diseased seals and walruses, the agency said in a statement.
Unlike the sickened seals and walruses, the affected polar bears seem otherwise healthy, said Mr Tony DeGange, chief of the biology office for the USGS’s Alaska Science Centre. There had been no deaths among polar bears, he said.
The nine affected bears were among the 33 that biologists have captured and sampled while doing routine studies on the Arctic coastline, Mr DeGange said.