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Ringed Seal with Sores on Face and Head

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Ringed Seal with Sores on Face and Head

Picture by: North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management staff Picture taken on: December 17th, 2007

Tags: ringed seal disease ume alaska NOAA Fisheries

On December 20, 2011, NOAA declared the recent deaths of ringed seals in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska an unusual mortality event, triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause. Since mid-July, more than 60 dead and 75 diseased seals, most of them ringed seals, have been reported in Alaska, with reports continuing to come in. Any member of the public who encounters a seal or walrus that looks sick or behaves unusually, such as by not fleeing from humans, should avoid approaching or making contact with the animal. Sick or dead marine mammals should be reported to NOAA Fisheries Alaska marine mammal stranding hotline: 1-877-925-7773.

Related Story: Deaths of ringed seals in Alaska declared an unusual mortality event