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Walrus Death From Bird Flu In Arctic

Walrus Death From Bird Flu In Arctic:

A researcher from the Norwegian Polar Institute, Christian Lydersen, reported the first case of a walrus dying from bird flu on Hopen Island in the Svalbard archipelago.

  • Around six dead walruses were found in the Svalbard islands, located 1,000 kilometres away from the North Pole.
  • Tests conducted at a German laboratory confirmed the presence of the bird flu virus in the walrus, although it was unclear whether it was the H5N1 or H5N8 strain.
  • The discovery has raised concerns among researchers, as walruses tend to congregate during the summer when the ice melts.
  • While bird flu primarily spreads through avian hosts like ducks and geese, mammals can also become infected by consuming infected birds.
  • There have been previous cases of sea lions and fur seals also falling victim to the disease.
  • There is also a risk of a polar bear consuming an infected walrus corpse, as bird flu has already killed one polar bear in Alaska.
  • Researchers urge for continued monitoring of the situation to prevent further spread of the virus among marine mammal populations.