Mystery poison hits N.Z. beaches

Aug. 5, 2009 at 1:10 AM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A mystery poison has killed dogs and other animals on beaches in the Auckland, New Zealand, area, prompting warnings to keep kids and dogs off the beaches.

Dead fish have washed up on the beaches, along with a few birds and penguins, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is trying to determine what is poisoning the animals. At least two dogs are reported to have died, while others have become sick.

Scientists said the problem does not appear to be toxic algae. The ministry said rat poison has also been ruled out.

Other possibilities include jellyfish and puffer fish.

A spokesman for the ministry said all the dead fish found so far were too decayed for

toxicology tests. The ministry has appealed to people to bring in any fresh dead fish they find.

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