Subject: Sea Lion:Cause of Sea Lion Deaths Unkno (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 5 May 1998 15:16:13 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon,  4 May 98 12:40:00 GMT 
Subject: Cause of Sea Lion Deaths Unkno

Cause of Sea Lion Deaths Unknown

   WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Two months of tests failed to
find the cause of the deaths of hundreds of rare sea lions on
islands south of New Zealand, the government said today.
   As many as 1,000 adult Hookers sea lions and 1,400 pups were
found dead or dying in the Auckland Islands group, 200 miles south
of New Zealand, in January and early February. The die-off depleted
what had been a population of only 11,000 to 14,000.
   Department of Conservation spokesman Alan Baker said four
laboratories examined tissue and blood from the dead sea lions, but
found nothing conclusive.
   The U.S. Department of Agriculture is carrying out final tests
for any viruses. Baker said another possibility is a bloom of toxic
algae, known as a "red tide."