Feds join probe of dead seals in NH, Mass., Maine

A gray seal surveys it's surroundings on a ledge off the coast of Camden in April 2011. Federal authorities are joining the investigation into the deaths of dozens of seals found on beaches in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A gray seal surveys it's surroundings on a ledge off the coast of Camden in April 2011. Federal authorities are joining the investigation into the deaths of dozens of seals found on beaches in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
Posted Oct. 05, 2011, at 12:05 p.m.

RYE, N.H. — Federal authorities are joining the investigation into the deaths of dozens of seals found on beaches in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is joining marine biologists from the New England Aquarium in Boston and state wildlife officials to try and figure out why the young harbor seals are dying.

NOAA spokesman Maggie Mooney-Seus tells the Portsmouth Herald that 49 seal deaths have been reported in the three states so far.

A spokesman for the aquarium says necropsies have been performed on three animals and preliminarily results show that lack of food is not to blame. Human causes have also been ruled out.

Tissue samples have been sent out for further testing to see if disease is the problem. The deaths may also be coincidental.

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