Sick Southeast Alaska seal indicates disease is spreading

Associated PressMarch 7, 2012 

Federal wildlife officials say a sick ringed seal that was captured in Southeast Alaska last week appears to be afflicted by the same symptoms suffered last year by ringed seals and Pacific walrus along northern coastlines.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says the Yakutat seal was taken to Anchorage and euthanized because it was so ill.

The seal's blubber thickness indicated it was in good body shape, but veterinary pathologist Kathy Burek-Huntington says it had almost total hair loss and nodular, scabbed skin sores consistent with the disease seen on the North Slope and along the Bering Strait.

More than 60 dead and 75 sick seals were reported in Alaska starting in July, and most were ringed seals.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service