First Walrus Death From Bird Flu in Arctic

The first recorded instance of a walrus dying from bird flu in the Arctic occurred on Hopen Island, part of the Svalbard archipelago, which was confirmed by a German laboratory. Six walruses were found dead, with the specific strain of bird flu still unclear. The incident was reported by Christian Lydersen, a marine biologist from the Norwegian Polar Institute. Bird flu generally spreads through avian hosts and has already affected various mammals including sea lions and fur seals. Given the natural behavior of walruses and other predators like polar bears, there is a significant risk of the virus spreading further, prompting calls for increased surveillance to protect marine mammal populations in the Arctic.

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