In the beginning of last November we reported the death of the young shag Ari, the pioneer of telemetry research in the project SIMARINE-NATURA. The shag has died soon after it had been equipped with a GPS logger. Its body was found one day after its death (15th October 2012) in the dock of the Shipyard Izola. It was conspicuously undernourished. In order to find out the primary cause of the shag’s death we submitted the corpse to the autopsy at the Veterinary faculty of the Ljubljana University.
On 4th February 2013 we received an official report about the autopsy which included partial dissection and bacteriological tests. The autopsy revealed that the primary cause of Ari’s death was an injury, more precisely a fracture of the left tibia, and an extensive infection with gastric parasites. The injury made its foraging impossible since shags are foot-propelled divers. The report says:
“Based on the results of an X-ray and partial dissection we concluded that the animal had died of consequences of an injury (fracture of the tibia and an extrensive suffusion in the area of breast-abdominal wall) and a distinctive infection with nematodal gastric parasites (an inflammation of the stomach with bleedings). Infections with such parasites are common in wild birds but they usually don’t result in special clinical symptoms of the host. Especially young animals are sensitive to such infections. In case of weak animals which become exhausted due to different causes (lack of food, infections with other parasites, presence of toxins, stress …) the gastric infections can result in death as well.”