Mysterious disease hits elk in Sweden

Posted on August 10, 2012

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Swedish scientists say they’re puzzled by a

Swedish elk warning sign, a popular tourist so... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

mysterious illness plaguing an elk population in Sweden that has left many animals dead or dying.

Fourteen adult elk around Blekinge in southern Sweden have recently been found in the woods in severe states of paralysis, emaciation and blindness, TT/TheLocal.se reported Friday.

The blindness has resulted in some elk being killed in traffic accidents, but experts say they have no clue as to what is causing the symptoms.

“There is no scientific explanation,” Lennart Balk of Stockholm University told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Balk pointed to the tens of thousands of wild birds that have also died in the area from a lack of thiamine, or vitamin B1, as a possible link.

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