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Tragedy for the biodiversity of the Arctic region of Siberia: 400 reindeer died possibly due to malnutrition, according to the authorities.
The Yamal Peninsula, located in northwestern Siberia and bathed by the Arctic Ocean, is known for its low temperatures, which can exceed 50 degrees below zero in winter, and for its short summers.
The massive death of these animals does not show infectious diseases as a cause, the veterinarians who investigated the case concluded that it was due to the extreme cold and the dense layer of snow and ice that prevented the reindeer from accessing their food.
"Temperatures of 40 degrees below zero, strong winds and layers of frozen snow with a thickness of 15 centimeters obstructed the access of the deer to their food," says the official statement.
It is not the first time that a mass death has occurred in the region, already in 2014, more than 70,000 animals suffered from extreme weather conditions that made it difficult to access their food.
In 2016 the Siberian reindeer also made headlines. An outbreak of Antrax, killed more than 2,300 reindeer, and hundreds of people ended up infected in hospital, more than half minors. The Russian authorities believe that the origin of the epidemic was the infected corpse of a reindeer that had been hidden under permafrost for approximately 75 years, and that with the high temperatures of that summer they surfaced, releasing the anthrax bacteria (Bacillius anthracis).
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