41 Seal Pups Die of Distemper in Denmark ASSOCIATED PRESS - June 23, 2007 COPENHAGEN, Denmark - An outbreak of distemper has been killing seal pups off the coast of Denmark, authorities said Saturday, warning that thousands of seals could die if the disease spreads to other northern European countries. Since Tuesday, at least 41 harbor seal pups have been found dead on the small island of Anholt, midway between Denmark and Sweden, and tests indicate distemper, according to The Danish Forest and Nature Agency. The government agency normally finds around 30 dead seals a year. "There is therefore reason to fear that we will see a large number of dead seals on Danish beaches in coming months," said Henrik Lykke Soerensen, an agency spokesman. The agency said it would kill dying seals found on the shores of the island to try to prevent the spread of the disease, which does not affect humans. The disease causes respiratory problems, fever and sometimes disorientation, while leaving the animal's immune system weakened and susceptible to other diseases, such as pneumonia. Lykke Soerensen said it was still unclear which strain of virus authorities were dealing with, but that the agency was expecting to identify it in the next few days. The seal population in Denmark has been hit by the disease twice before. In 2002, it killed nearly half the harbor seal population along the coasts of Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and Ireland. Another outbreak, in 1988, wiped out nearly 60 percent of northern Europe's harbor seal population. The cause of both outbreaks remains unknown. - - - - http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8PUTHFG0&show_article=1Apes under threat from green fuels LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH - By Charles Clover - May 31, 2007 The threat to great apes, such as the orang-utan, is "growing visibly" as a result of the demand for greener fuels, Richard Leakey, the paleo-anthropologist and conservationist warned yesterday. - - - The Great Apes Survival Project, a United Nations initiative of which Dr Leakey is patron, says 80 per cent of orang-utan habitat has been cleared in the past 20 years and the global population of 50,000 is struggling to survive in what is left. Dr Leakey said that the growing of palm oil was now a threat in Africa too, where vast areas of the Congo basin contain gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. He said it might be "politically correct" not to criticise developing nations for destroying their forests but they did not deserve to be exempt from blame because the destruction of tropical forests was the largest single contributor to climate change. - - - - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/31/nape31.xml Swarm of bees forces passenger plane to land REUTERS - May 25, 2007 LONDON - A passenger plane was forced to land after flying into a swarm of British bees Thursday. The Palmair Boeing 737, with 90 passengers on board, had to return to Bournemouth Airport in southern England shortly after take-off following an engine surge. The pilot decided to abort the flight to Faro in Portugal and returned for safety checks. The plane's engine was thought to have become clogged with bees, the company said Friday. Huge clouds of bees have been seen around Bournemouth over the past few days, a spokeswoman said. http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSL258266320070525
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