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Sat May 30, 2015, 10:20 PM


one third of critically endangered antelope have died in last two weeks

The saiga, a critically endangered Asian antelope species, has been decimated by a mysterious, fast-moving disease. In the past two weeks, more than third of all saigas have been killed, conservationists have found.

The cause of the outbreak is unknown, but scientists believe it is always fatal.

“I’m flustered looking for words here,” said Joel Berger, a senior scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society. “To lose 120,000 animals in two or three weeks is a phenomenal thing.”

Before the end of the Ice Age, saiga lived over a vast range stretching from England to Alaska. After the climate warmed, they continued to thrive on the steppes of Central Asia.

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