What is responsible for killing off so many kangaroos ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Lilly M
Experts have been left perplexed by the unexplained deaths of millions of kangaroos in Australia.
Red and grey kangaroo populations on the Western Plains have been falling rapidly over the last few months due to an unidentified disease that has been causing blindness, internal bleeding, stilted movement and 'massive haemorrhaging', according to wildlife authorities.
"You would see a whole family sitting there but they were all dead," said veterinarian Greg Curran.
"It's a disease, it's not a genetic problem. We haven't been able to find a bacteria, we haven't been able to find a virus. Parasites, they aren't part of it. Given the huge area and different kinds of country and feed, its very unlikely to be a plant poisoning. You've ruled out all the known causes of diseases."
The total population of kangaroos in New South Wales had reached a record 17.4 million last year, but now due to the mysterious malady affecting the animals these numbers have dropped by up to 40%.
"The drop is so great it can't simply be due to culling rates," said Dr Curran. "The number of animals that have been harvested for the meat market is low. It can't possibly be starvation or malnutrition."
An investigation in to the phenomenon is still ongoing.
Source: 4bc.com.au | Comments (29)