More than 2500 dead seals were found dead in Russia’s Dagestan region.

Svetlana Radionova, a top Russian environmental official said on state television that hypoxia is being seen as the most likely cause and scientists are investigating whether natural gas emissions in the Caspian could account for low oxygen.

Natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea are being tapped more and more each day.

She also highlighted that The same mass death of seals occurred in the year 2000 in Dagestan and neighboring Azerbaijan.

In IUCN red list, Caspian seals are categorized as endangered, as they are the only mammals found in the Caspian sea.

According to Caspian Environmental Protection Centre, In 1900, there were more than a million of seals in the region but today, after a century of overfishing and habitat degradation only 70,000 remain.  

Photo: Kazbek Basayev / Reuters