In 1996, Dr. Frances Gulland, the director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, found that a striking 18 percent of deaths in stranded adult sea lions were the result of tumors in the reproductive and urinary tracts. Scientists also found that about 18 percent of dead beluga whales stranded in Canada’s St. Lawrence River had intestinal tumors or other cancers that were linked to industrial pollutants. Fish in contaminated waters have tumors, but not those in clean water. Dogs that are exposed to herbicides from chemically treated lawns have more cancers than those that are not.
The plight of sea lions will affect humans, since they “eat a lot of the same things we do,” said Dr. Gulland.
Date: Published: 4 March 2010
Date: 10 March 2009
Date: 10 March 2010