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article imageOp-Ed: Mysterious animal deaths may not be so mysterious

By Bennett Kaplan     Jan 12, 2011 in Environment
Around 5000 dead blackbirds found in Arkansas. More than 100,000 dead fish wash up on shore of Arkansas river. A hundred tons of fish found dead in Brazil. Sound like a movie? Well it's not.
Starting on Jan. 1, when thousands of dead birds were found dead on Arkansas roads, reports of mass animal deaths have sprung up around the world, creating confusion, and stumping the worlds most renowned scientists. In the original incident in Arkansas, officials blamed the deaths on New Years fireworks startling the birds, leading to trauma, causing a die off.
When 100,000 fish showed up dead on the shores of the Arkansas river, scientists blamed the deaths on a species specific disease, taking into account that 95% of the fish were the same species. To many, this all seemed like a coincidence, and since both of these events happened in Arkansas in a relatively short period of time, no red flags were raised. This was until similar reports started surfacing from every corner of the globe. Popping up around the world, were many seemingly unrelated mass animal deaths, involving all sorts of animals, including birds, crabs, and fish.
In a majority of the occurrences, cold weather, disease, or mass trauma are to blame for these events.
While science seems to be able to explain every single instance of mass animal death around the world, many are still skeptical about the deaths. Many believe that these deaths are of no coincidence. Many blame conspiracy theories predicting the end of the world for the die offs, and take them as warning rather than coincidence.
The truth however, is that mass animal die offs are not uncommon. According to the U.S Geological Survey, 163 mass animal die offs are reported yearly, but often go uncovered by the media. In this circumstance, the original deaths in Arkansas sparked a media chain reaction that lead to many events being covered that would usually go under the radar.
While the events may seem unnatural, with record low temperatures around the world, and continued over-pollution, these events should almost be expected, rather than mysterious.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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