The number of dead seals found on the beach at Pelican Point has risen to more than 7,000, non-profit group Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) said on Friday.
“There are also more adult females and one-year-old pups dying too. We have no idea what’s happening,” Naude Dreyer from OCN told The Animal Reader.
Last week, OCN said that more than 5000 dead seal pups were found on the beach: “We are sitting at the cusp of a catastrophe. There are literally thousands of seal pups being born prematurely and dying almost immediately.”
Now, they see a spike in the deaths of adult females and older seal pups too. Dreyer said investigations had mainly centered on the Pelican Point Beach, so the overall number of dead seals could be higher.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources said last week it would send samples to South Africa to determine the cause of death. There are no results yet.
“We are trying our best to find answers given the complex nature of the investigations where we don’t even know what we are looking for,” Dreyer said.
OCN said last week starvation could be a reason because fish, the seals’ main source of food, have moved from Pelican Point, but other reasons could be toxins or disease.
“As you can see, the situation is still tragic and we need your help! All our data collection and sampling is being privately funded, and is unfortunately not cheap. We’ve set up a GoGetFunding campaign to help us cover costs and speed up the process,” OCN said on Instagram.