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The extent of this die-off, and the speed it had, by spreading throughout the whole calving herd and killing all the animals, this has not been observed for any other species," Zuther said. "It's really unheard of.
But within four days, the entire herd — 60,000 saiga — had died. As veterinarians and conservationists tried to stem the die-off, they also got word of similar population crashes in other herds across Kazakhstan.
originally posted by: ChesterJohn
a reply to: OccamsRazor04
usually the temperature is cooler and keeps the bacteria dormant (normally harmless) so the antelope usually eat dormant ones and poop it out with their waste which helps the Steep process decomposition of dead grasses.
warmer temps made the decomposing bacteria active so when they ate it caused infections in them and killed them because they had no anti-bacterial to save them.
However, exactly what would have triggered these bacteria to become so deadly almost overnight is still baffling researchers.
They do not normally cause disease in the animals unless they have weakened immune systems and if a disease-causing strain was spreading in the herds, the die-offs should have taken much longer.