News

Saiga saga

A newly-published paper in Science Advances argues that the reason why 200,000 Saiga antelopes died within three weeks in Kazahkstan in 2015 was all to do with the weather.

The immediate cause of death, it asserts, was a bacteria called  Pasteurella multocida type B. This is normally present in the antelopes, but it became deadly and caused a mass outbreak of hemorrhagic septicemia as a result of “unusually high relative humidity and temperature.”

No healthy surviving Saigas (about 30,000 of them) were captured for comparison.