February 13, 2012
For many months now, Alaskan ringed seals, Pacific walruses, and various other arctic mammals have reportedly been turning up with a mystery disease that manifests itself in the form of oozing skin sores, patchy hair loss, and damaged organs, according to theAlaska Dispatch. And since the condition has already been ruled out as being caused by a virus or bacteria, researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Institute of Marine Science are currently investigating to see whether or not Fukushima radiation might have something to do with it.
Back in October, roughly 600 Pacific walruses turned up infected with the disease at Point Lay in Northwest Alaska, while a few months later in December, more than 100 ringed seals living off the coast of Alaska also turned up seriously injured or dead as a result of the disease. At that time, scientists sent in tissue samples from the affected animals to labs in both the U.S. and Canada, but the cause could not be determined.
Now, Dr. John Kelley, Professor Emeritus of the University of Alaska’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is leading a team to figure out the precise cause of the now more than 135 dead or diseased seals that have turned up since last July. Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), both of which began investigating following the December findings, have been unable to pinpoint a cause.
The Alaska coast, of course, is located in the direct path of Fukushima’s ongoing radiation plumes and oceanic discharges of radiation, which is why many people suspect it as the cause of the animal illnesses and deaths. According to many scientists, such symptoms are textbook examples of radiation poisoning, which makes sense in light of Fukushima’s three-going-on-four reactor meltdowns, which have released catastrophic levels of harmful, ionizing radiation across the globe.
You can view photos of some of the injured animals, as well as a Google map of all the areas where the affected animals have been identified, here:
Besides skin and hair problems, the affected animals have also been found to have “abnormal growths in the brain,” as well as “undersized lymph nodes” indicative of compromised immune systems.
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This article was posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 at 4:33 am