West News Wire: On the southern Russian shore of the Caspian Sea, some 2,500 dead Seals have been found.

Authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan stated that although the cause of the widespread extinction was unknown, it was probably due to natural factors.

The Dagestan section of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later increased the number to roughly 2,500. Local officials in the area had initially reported on Saturday that 700 dead seals had been discovered on the coast.

The Caspian Environmental Protection Center’s Zaur Gapizov stated in a statement that the seals most likely passed just a few weeks ago. There was no indication that they had been killed or captured in fishing nets, he continued.

Experts from the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coastline and collected data for laboratory research, which did not immediately spot any pollutants.

Several previous incidents of mass seal deaths were attributed to natural causes. Kazakhstan, which has a long Caspian coastline, reported at least three such incidents this year.

Data about the number of seals in the Caspian vary widely. The fisheries agency has said the overall number of Caspian seals is 270,000 to 300,000, while the Caspian Environmental Protection Center put the number at 70,000.

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