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Concern as 10 dead grey whales found on the coastline of Chukotka

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15 September 2013


'Wounded by hunters or attacked by killer whales'.  Picture: Varvara Semenova, Russian Marine Mammal Council

Their discovery by scientists raises questions over whether they died from disease or were fatally wounded by hunters or attacked by killer whales. 

Stanislav Belikov, head of marine wildlife conservation at the All-Russian Research Institute for Nature Protection, told RIA Novosti: 'The reasons for this incident should be investigated.'

He stressed: 'This is quite a few, especially considering that six of these whales were washed ashore within a coastal area of 120 kilometres. They were possibly wounded by hunters or attacked by killer whales. We also should not rule out the possibility of a disease.'

The remains were spotted during an aerial survey of Chukotka's Arctic coast between 1 and 8 September. 

The Marine Mammal Council warned that the number of recently deceased grey whales could be higher because not all dead whales wash up on shore.

Chukotka is Russia's most northeasterly region immediately across the Bering Sea from Alaska.

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