Environment: Season Of Death

A blight hits North Sea seals

Every spring, residents of the tiny Danish island of Anholt, midway between Denmark and Sweden, eagerly await the arrival of the harbor seals that breed on the island's sandy beaches. This year, however, they have been witnesses to a mysterious season of death. So far, more than 150 dead and dying seals and their prematurely born pups have washed ashore; in the past few weeks, Lighthouse Keeper Einar Boisen and others have been picking up as many as 17 dead seals a day. Says Boisen: "We've started calling ourselves the death patrol."

The harvest of corpses has raised fears in countries...

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