Large die-off of Alaska seabirds from disease never found before in state history — Official: It’s super, super common… except it’s first time — Hundreds dead per km²; Continued to wash ashore — ‘Relatively’ natural; Witness: Head flopped backward, appeared to have seizure, then dropped dead (AUDIO)

Friday, December 13, 2013
By Paul Martin
December 12th, 2013

Anchorage Daily News: Hundreds of dead sea birds found on the beaches of St. Lawrence Island were the victims of Alaska’s first detected avian cholera outbreak, officials said this week. One hunter in Gambell spotted a bird on the beach, its head flopping backward […] The bird acted like it was having a seizure. Then it dropped dead. […] Gay Sheffield, a Nome-based biologist with the University of Alaska’s Marine Advisory Program […] received three bird carcasses: a northern fulmar […] a thick-billed murre […] and a black crested auklet […] “For this disease, actually, these numbers are really small, which makes me think there’s a lot more birds that died somewhere else that we didn’t see” [said Kimberlee Beckmen, Fish & Game veterinarian.]

“It’s super, super common” (except it’s the first time)

Kimberlee Beckmen, a Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian: “It’s super, super common. The only unusual part is us finding a die-off in Alaska.”
Cathie Harms, a wildlife biologist with ADF&G: “Avian Cholera had not been detected in Alaska before”
“It’s not something that can hurt people” (but wear gloves, wash hands, and never eat it)

Cathie Harms, a wildlife biologist with ADF&G: “The good news is although birds died, it’s not something that can hurt people”
AP: Officials warn anyone touching a sick bird or animal to wear gloves and wash hands with soap and water after handling animals or butchering meat. Never eat sick birds or animals that may have died from a disease.

The Rest…HERE

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