Published 22 May 2012
Hundreds of rare saiga antelopes have been killed in Kazakhstan’s northern Qostanai Oblast. At least 508 females, four males, and 31 fawns have been found dead. On May 21, about 120 saiga were found dead near the village of Sorsha. Preliminary investigations suggest the animals may have been poisoned by chemicals left behind by the landing of a Soyuz spacecraft in the same area in April. The saiga is critically endangered. Some estimates say only around 50,000 saiga survive, after years of unrestricted hunting following the Soviet collapse.