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5 Strange Mass Animal Deaths

The apocalypse is coming

by Gelo Gonzales | Jun 9, 2011
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File this one under “Signs of the Apocalypse.”
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To the dismay of all of us lovers of bangus, a massive fishkill occurred in Taal Lake a couple of weeks ago.

Currently, 7 Batangas towns have been put under a state of calamity including Talisay, Laurel, Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Alitagtag, Cuenca and Sta. Teresita.

These towns, reliant on the industry, are now trying cope with the millions of pesos lost in the incident, and who are now tasked with the daunting task of disposing of these dead fishes.

The total estimated damage: 970 metric tons of fishes worth 76.6 million pesos. The causes of the fishkill are said to be the drastic change in weather, and overcrowding in the fish pens.

Whatever the reason may be, those fishes which should already have been food in our mouths, the whole thing’s pretty much already a lost cause. Let’s just hope that whoever’s in charge here employ changes that should lessen the chances of it happening again.

Mass animal deaths have already occurred in the past, as some of you may already know, and sometimes, these happen for reasons that can’t be readily blamed on fishery malpractices. Below, we have listed some of the more bizarre ones.  

1. The greedy turtle doves of Italy
How freaky would it be to see these birds, most famous for being referenced in a popular Christmas carol, to just drop dead from the sky?

That’s exactly what happened in a town in Italy called Faenza last January of this year when a thousand of these doves crashed down on roofs and cars.

Nope, the birds didn’t just suddenly forget to fly. The real reason is actually more ridiculous: The birds ate too much sunflower birdseeds discarded near an industrial estate, which led to indigestion. The lesson: never fly on a full stomach.  

2. Crabkill in U.K.
Crabs are delicious, but only when they’re fresh. Otherwise, you’d better just stay away. Along the U.K.’s Kent Coast, also in January, a whopping 40,000 devil crabs washed ashore, lifeless as a shell.

“Oh, did they drown?” asked your friend who only knows cliché jokes. The answer, of course, is no. These crustaceans are another victim of the ongoing climate change, and in the reports, they say that it was primarily because of the lower than average temperature of the waters.

With such hard shells and with such a bad-ass name designation (devil crab), you’d think they’d be tougher right?

3. A sealed fate?
With how fat seals are, you’d think they all eventually suffer from a heart attack or a stroke.

Again in January, hundreds of dead harp seals washed ashore on the north coast of Labrador in Canada. The reason for their deaths this time around is not as simple as overeating or being sensitive to the cold (seals love chilly weather, if you’d remember).

The cause is two-pronged. First, the population, said to be between 4.6 and 7.2 million, has become too large for the area to accommodate. And it isn’t because there isn’t enough food around. Seals are supposed to give birth on the surrounding ice floes where the food for the pups is more accessible. The more seals, the less ice floe realty there is to go around, leaving those who are being born on land with a significantly higher chance of, well, dying because of a lack of sustenance.

4. Moo madness
Just what the hell was up last January?

In Stockton, Wisconsin in the United States, 200 cows in a pastured mooed their last moo. As sheriff deputies in the area scrambled to solve what probably was the most exciting case their town has ever experienced, the owner of the cows disappointed them with the fact that it might have just been a simple cow virus and not some cow-sacrificing cult operating when the moon is full.

5. Attack of the killer Bambi
In 2003, National Geographic finally revealed just how evil deer are.

The incident happened (and could very well still be happening) at Scotland’s Rum Island. What incident? Ok, get his: deer in the said island have developed a taste for flesh. And not just any kind of flesh, their delicacy of choice is another creature native to the island—a bird called Manx shearwater. And they only eat the chicks.

The first to discover the grim killings were birdwatchers who were naturally shocked at the sight of those decapitated chicks. Scientists have discovered that the deer have started eating them to cover for a calcium deficiency, needing that particular mineral for their awesome antlers.

Making the killings even more gruesome is that the deer only eat the head, the legs, and the wing bones, while leaving the flesh, feathers, and skin intact. Oh and did we mention, they only hunt on a full moon, when the chicks are most visible when they come out at night.

Suddenly, Bambi ain’t so cute.

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WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES

IMAGE FROM OVER THE HEDGE (2006, PARAMOUNT PICTURES)

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