Mysterious Animal Deaths


I did a search and did not find a thread dedicated to unusual or mysterious animal deaths. So I started this one, if it’s a duplicate please delete.

I came across this story today of the unusual discovery of some buffalo found dead in a Taiwanese national park. It got me thinking of those elephants who died under strange circumstances in Botswana. For now the cause of death for the buffaloes are unknown but testing is underway.

Keng explained that the deaths are very unusual since there has only been one Taiwan water buffalo death reported at Yangmingshan per year. She suspected that starvation and infectious disease were responsible for their demise.

The Yangmingshan National Park Administration confirmed the news during a press interview on Monday and said the bodies of the animals had been sent to the National Taiwan University School of Veterinary Medicine for testing. It said the fallen buffaloes consisted of five adults and one calf.

The park administration said some grass had been found inside the stomachs of the buffaloes, so starvation is unlikely the cause of their deaths. It added that the autopsy results will come out in a few days, reported Liberty Times.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Cows began to die en masse in India. With the death of the cows, milk prices have risen at a high rate. It was stated that the cows were vaccinated before they died.
Sordid visuals of thousands of cows dying of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in several districts of Rajasthan have caused widespread anxiety among people. Hundreds of carcasses of dead cows have been found lying in the open, causing a nauseating stench, with crows and vultures feeding on them. Pictures taken with the help of drone cameras reveal a large number of carcasses spread over several square kilometre area. In some places, it is even difficult to keep a count of those dead.

Local residents from several districts of Rajasthan have put the death toll at more than 50,000, while the state government has said that 45,000 cows have died of the virus and nearly 11 lakh cattle have been affected.

In my prime time show 'Aaj Ki Baat' on Friday night, we showed scary ground reports from Jodhpur, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Barmer, Jalore, Ganganagar, Nagaur, Jaisalmer, Karauli, Dausa, Bharatpur, Ajmer, Boondi and Kota. Cow is regarded as holy mother in Hindu scriptures, but the Lumpy Skin Disease is spreading like an epidemic. Meanwhile, due to acute shortage of milk, prices have shot up by Rs 10 to 20 per litre in some districts of Rajasthan.

In my show, we showed dead cows lying in the open on streets in Jodhpur, the home district of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Carcasses have been found lying in several streets with stray dogs, crows and vultures feeding on them. The stench is pervading in Jodhpur city. There are no proper arrangements for disposal of carcasses.

Our reporter Manish Bhattacharya, who visited Jodhpur, reported that more than 3,800 cows have died of LSD in Jodhpur alone. People are avoiding to walk on the streets because of carcasses. One of the local residents alleged that the carcasses have been thrown on streets by the local municipal corporation staff.

Lumpy Skin Disease is a contagious viral disease that affects cattle and causes fever, and later nodules appear on the skin. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, flies, lice, wasps and through direct contact among cattle, and also through contaminated food and water. The cattle dies after some time.

In Jodhpur, there is now acute milk shortage and milk prices have shot up by 50 per cent. Farmers who rear cattle are facing problems, as there is no assistance from the government for providing vet doctors and medicines. Farmers are forced to use their own line of treatment, thereby causing largescale death of cows. A local dairy owner said, milk production has dropped by nearly half after this epidemic.

Rajasthan government claims that Rs 30 crore have been allotted for vaccination of cattle, and till now more than 6.5 lakh cattle have been vaccinated, but the ground situation belies the claims. Experts say that vaccination is needed before the virus attacks cattle, but if vaccination where the virus has already spread, it becomes ineffective.

India TV reporter Manish Bhattacharya took visuals of carcasses lying on a vast area from his vehicle. The dead bodies were spread on an area that is one to 1.5 kilometre long. With no sign of assistance from government, local farmers in Jodhpur, Bikaner, Barmer, Jalore and Ganganagar have, with the help of some NGOs, started a campaign to protect their cattle, by giving medicines and spraying insecticide in cattle sheds.

Thirtyone out of 33 districts of Rajasthan have been affected by Lumpy Skin Disease. In Bikaner, government has claimed only 2,600 cows have died, but the visuals show the opposite. In a large area named Jodbeed, hundreds of carcasses are lying in the open, away from the city. The Mayor of Bikaner could not stand in the area for more than five minutes due to the pervading stench emanating from carcasses. The Mayor alleged that more than 10,000 cows have died in Bikaner alone, but the state government is concealing facts. She was countered by Gopal Ram Birda, commissioner of Bikaner Municipal Corporation, who claimed that Jodbeed has been a ground for disposal of cattle carcasses since several years. He also claimed that most of the cattle did not die of LSD.

The District Collector of Bikaner Bhagwati Prasad Kalal claimed: "Photos showing thousands of dead cattle dumped in a ground in Jodbeed is misleading. It is a demarcated zone to dispose of dead animals. Carcasses of animals that die in the city are brought here, the skin is removed, and the skeletons are left to dry. The contractor later picks up these bones to sell in the market. Almost 1,000 carcasses are always found here." The Collector however admitted that more than 2,600 cattle have died due to LSD in Bikaner.

The claim that Jodbeed is a conservation centre for vultures is true. The number of vultures is increasing here, but the claim that such a large number of cows have died due to natural causes is misleading.

In Bhilwara, a separate quarantine centre has been created for cows affected by LSD. Sixty cattle are presently in this quarantine centre, and 13 cattle have recovered after treatment. The city's Nagar Parishad commissioner Durga Kumari claimed that cattle affected by virus are immediately quarantined in this centre, they are provided food and medicines, so that they can recover soon.

The epidemic is widespread in western Rajasthan, while its effect in eastern part is less. The question is: since the spread of Lumpy skin virus had been in the news for last two months, why didn't the state government take timely action to prevent these deaths? Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was also told about the spread of the virus by several ex-ministers, and a virtual meeting was done two weeks ago, but in the meeting, former Health Minister Raghu Sharma had a spat with Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Lal Chand Kataria. Raghu Sharma alleged that officials are not taking this disease seriously, and vet doctors are being transferred to other districts. BJP leader in a delegation met the Governor on Friday and demanded that the state government must take emergency measures.

It is clear that Rajasthan government is concealing the exact statistics about death of cattle due to lumpy skin disease. The state government has now become active, it has opened quarantine centres and vaccination of cows has begun, but all these measures should have been taken two months ago. Ashok Gehlot is an experienced chief minister and I fail to understand why he failed to gauge the enormity of the crisis. Experts say, since the virus is spreading fast, it is difficult to predict when the situation will be brought under control.

12 states in India are facing the onslaught of lumpy skin virus. In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the virus has spread in 23 out of 75 districts. Till now, nearly 12 lakh cows and other animals have been affected, but only 220 deaths have been reported. Nearly 10,000 cows recovered after treatment. UP government has started large-scale vaccination of cattle. Till now, nearly 9 lakh vaccines have been given. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has decided to create a a huge 300 km long and 10 km wide quarantine corridor from Pilibhit to Etawah district. This will pass through five districts.

The virus is presently more in Rajasthan, Haryana and parts of western UP. Authorities are trying to prevent the spread of the virus but creating quarantine zones.

A pro-active government can face any big challenge. When reports of spread of lumpy virus came from Rajasthan, Yogi Adityanath was soon off the mark. He started prevention measures in UP. Animal markets were banned, and a massive cattle vaccination programme began in western UP. This reminds us of how Yogi's government had tackled the Covid challenge that earned him plaudits from across the world. Other chief ministers should learn from Yogi Adityanath.

Cows began to die en masse in India.
An update from today, cow's breed seems a important factor :

Was Lumpy Skin Disease among India’s cattle preventable?​

Over a 100,00 heads of cattle have died in India due to the lumpy skin disease. While measures are being taken to protect the animals, could more have been done to deal with the disease?
October 04, 2022 by Indra Shekhar Singh

Representational Image
As Lumpy Skin disease (LSD) is ripping throughout India, thousands of cows are dead. It’s hard to tell the actual number. Various media reports indicate heavy losses in the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, among others. The government estimates that 100,000 heads of cattle are dead due to the disease. The Rajasthan government has written to the Central government, asking that lumpy skin disease be declared a national calamity.
The problem goes beyond the heads of cattle that have succumbed to the virus, for many more are sick and unable to provide milk while they recover.

Rahul Sharma, who owns and works with indigenous cows in the National Capital Region area, confirms the conditions are very much in sync with what scientists like Singh say. “In my cowshed, no cow has fallen sick with LSD. But we have heard of reports of LSD infections from the Farrukhnagar and Alwar areas. Most desi [indigenous] cows are healthy. The problem is mainly with foreign breeds and mixed breed cows,” Rahul says.

477 whales die in New Zealand after ‘heartbreaking’ strandings on remote beaches​

Dead pilot whales on a beach

Dead pilot whales litter Tupuangi Beach in the Chatham Islands, about 500 miles east of New Zealand’s main islands.
(Tamzin Henderson / Associated Press)

Associated Press
Oct. 12, 2022 1:43 AM PT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand —
Some 477 pilot whales have died after stranding themselves on two remote New Zealand beaches over recent days, officials say.
None of the stranded whales could be refloated and all either died naturally or were euthanized in a “heartbreaking” loss, said Daren Grover, the general manager of Project Jonah, a nonprofit group that helps rescue whales.
The whales beached themselves on the Chatham Islands, which are home to about 600 people and lie about 500 miles east of New Zealand’s main islands.
The Department of Conservation said 232 whales stranded themselves Friday at Tupuangi Beach and another 245 at Waihere Bay on Monday.
The deaths come two weeks after about 200 pilot whales died in Australia after stranding themselves on a remote Tasmanian beach.
“These events are tough, challenging situations,” the Department of Conservation wrote in a Facebook post. “Although they are natural occurrences, they are still sad and difficult for those helping.”
LAGUNA SAN IGNACIO, BAJA CALIFORNIA- MARCH 8, 2020: A gray whale surfaces with open eyes as whale watchers visit in Laguna San Ignacio, Baja California on March 8, 2020. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Gray whales continue to wash up dead and emaciated, but causes remain elusive

Grover said the remote location and presence of sharks in the surrounding waters meant they couldn’t mobilize volunteers to try to refloat the whales as they have in past stranding events.
“We do not actively refloat whales on the Chatham Islands due to the risk of shark attack to humans and the whales themselves, so euthanasia was the kindest option,” said Dave Lundquist, a technical marine advisor for the conservation department.
Mass strandings of pilot whales are reasonably common in New Zealand, especially during the summer months. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes the whales to strand, although it appears that their location systems can get confused by gently sloping sandy beaches.
Grover said there is a lot of food for the whales around the Chatham Islands, and as they swim closer to land, they would quickly find themselves going from very deep to shallow water.
Huntington Beach, California-June 20, 2021-Scientists from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center study a deceased fin whale that washed up at Bolsa Chica State Beach, on Thursday, May 20, 2021. The whale is believed to be the mother in a mother-and-calf pair killed off the coast of San Diego by an Australian Royal Navy vessel. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Climate & Environment

As cargo shipments boom, ship strikes imperil whales in California and worldwide

“They rely on their echo-location and yet it doesn’t tell them that they are running out of water,” Grover said. “They come closer and closer to shore and become disoriented. The tide can then drop from below them, and before they know it, they’re stranded on the beach.”
Because of the remote location of the beaches, the whale carcasses won’t be buried or towed out to sea, as is often the case, but instead will be left to decompose, Grover said.
“Nature is a great recycler, and all the energy stored within the bodies of all the whales will be returned to nature quite quickly,” he said.

2,500 dead seals found on Russian coastline​

At least 2,500 dead seals have been found along Russia's Caspian Sea coastline in the province of Dagestan, officials said on Sunday.
Driving the news: The Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Dagestan said in a Telegram post that officials continue to count the number of dead seals, but it is still unclear how they died.
What they're saying: "Unfortunately, the figure has grown significantly and currently stands at 2,500," officials said, according to the translated post.
  • "Bodies are found at different locations" with a "large number" showing up in the Yuzbash area and "between the Sulak and Shurinka rivers."
Details: Initial reports on Saturday estimated around 700 deceased seals were found, but upon broader inspection on Sunday, the number jumped up to 1,700, per AP.
  • The Caspian Environmental Protection Center said the seals likely died a couple of weeks ago and showed no sign they were killed by poachers, per AP.
  • The Federal Fisheries Agency didn’t immediately spot any pollutants, per AP.
What's next: The ministry said it will investigate the cause of the deaths through lab testing.
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