Thursday, May 24, 2012 -
Hundreds more saigas have been found deceased in Kazakhstan’s northern region of Kostanai, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Ministry officials recorded an additional four hundred dead Central Asian antelope near the spot where 543 antelope were discovered earlier this week, the ministry statement said.
Earlier, experts said the deaths may be tied to pasteurellosis, a bacteria which attacks the blood, intestinal, and respiratory systems of the critically endangered species.
However, other ecologists believe the deaths of the antelope may have something to do with spaceship landings in the area. Astronauts returning from the International Space Station (ISS) landed in the nearby Sorsha village in April.
Kostanai hunting and fishing authorities have been dispatched to the area to try to collect evidence to determine what is responsible for the deaths of the animals.
Saigas used to number in the millions on the Eurasian plain, but their numbers have dropped precipitously in recent years with some experts saying that only 50,000 now exist.