Monterey bird starvation strange deaths

James McIninch james at amber.biology.gatech.edu
Tue Aug 15 08:31:51 EST 1995


@ictp.trieste.it wrote:
: There have been recently a lot of birds and some other animals
: being found dead in the Monterey, California USA area. They
: appear to have starved to death, though there is no apparent 
: food shortage.

: I recall reading something years ago about a poison or perhaps
: a tweaked on amino acid or something someone thought could help
: weight loss or whatever, maybe a contaminant, capable of preventing
: normal digestion. The phrase that sticks in my mind is that it
: could result in "starving in the midst of plenty."

: Does this sound familiar to anybody? Maybe if you recall this
: chemical you could contact Monterey and suggest they test for this?

: It might be a good idea to check for toxicological and biolgoical warfare 
: experimentation going on as a possible source?

Probably not. Actually, this happens quite often during the summers there.
The hotter, the worse the effect.

When I was last out there it was generally accepted that two things contributed 
to the birds deaths: dehydration and pollution. Unfortunately, Monterey, like
much of California, realizes drought conditions every year (not a total absence
of water, but exceptionally dry weather and water usage restrictions).

When it gets dry there, you can see alot of animals drinking from the ocean
(especially deer) and they often become very ill or die.

Also, the Monterey Bay area is becoming increasingly polluted, especially
during the summers (for a large number of reasons).

Officially, the US army doesn't engage in biological warfare programs (but,
then again, who knows what they really do). Almost certainly, however, if
they did they wouldn't do so in such a highly populated area where there are
plenty of people to harm and too many people to find out (we've got places
in the desert for that sort of research).




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