120,000 endangered saiga antelopes die mysteriously in Kazakhstan

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More than 120,000 critically endangered saiga antelopes—more than one-third of the worldwide population—have died in Kazakhstan since mid-May, and the cause of the “catastrophic collapse” is unclear, officials said. “Not a single animal survived in the affected herds,” the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, a United Nations-backed effort also known as CMS, said in a statement last Thursday. Two kinds of bacteria exacerbated the die-off, but they are not lethal unless the animal already has a weakened immune system, so experts are still trying to identify the underlying cause, CMS said.

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