What is killing the Baltic states seagulls?

A seagull grabs a piece of bread of the coast of Tallinn. Scientists are unsure if something the birds are eating is causing the deaths. Photo by Roman Shestakov.

TALLINN — The cause of death of hundreds of seagulls found on the northern coast of Estonia at the end of last month remains a mystery.

The Estonian Environmental Inspectorate found more than 200 dead seagulls on the northern coast from Muuga Harbor to Salmistu, which is about 100 km out of Tallinn. Inspectorate spokesman Himot Maran told Channel 2 news back then that this number of dead seagulls is definitely more than could be expected during post-nesting period. Despite the higher-than-usual number, Maran was certain that contamination is not responsible of the death of birds.

On Thursday the inspectorate received the results from the Estonian Veterinary and Food Laboratory, which states that the cause of death was not possible to ascertain.

The strange seagull deaths are not confined to Estonia — in Latvia earlier this week noticed a similar problem with the seagulls in Jūrmala. The cause there is also unknown; Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service has ordered an analysis of the dead seagulls and expects results by the end of the week.

— Baltic Reports reporter James Dahl contributed to this article.

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