‘World’s First’ Case: Greenland Shark died of Meningitis

On 15th March, the ZSL team spotted a dead female Greenland shark outside Newlyn Harbor in Cornwall. The experts gathered a proper post mortem report. A post mortem revealed that a rare Greenland shark found washed up on a Cornish beach died of meningitis.

Marine experts believe that the shark was over 100 years old. Moreover, they also believed that the discovery of this disease in the shark was “certainly a world’s first.”

shark died of meningitis
(Image source: BBC)

In addition, the scientists said that there is insufficient evidence to link the disease to man-made stressors like pollution. “Ultimately, like most marine life, deep sea species such as Greenland sharks may also be impacted by human pressures on the ocean but there is not enough evidence at this stage to make any connections.”

According to the veterinary pathologist there was an isolated bacterial strain from the fluid surrounding the brain. Which was likely to be the source of the meningitis. The brain was “discolored and congested,” and the fluid around the brain was hazy. This was one of the clear indications that the shark had a brain disease.

The pathology team from the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) discovered that there was some damage to the shark’s fins and silt in her stomach. This implied that she was alive when stranded. Furthermore, the project lead, Rob Deavilla said that the discovery of the shark has “has allowed us to get an insight into the life and death of a species we know little about.”

It is believed that the shark was suffering from the brain infection, that is why she was out of her natural habitat. Usually sharks stay 2.5km below the surface of the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean. Greenland sharks can live to be over 400 years old, therefore it is still classified a ‘juvenile’.

Watch this Cute Video!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here





This Vet Cures Animals For Free!

A vet on the streets of California possesses a heart of gold. He walks the streets in search of animals that need to be...

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Help Detect Illegal Tortoise Shells

Artificial Intelligence is now being used to tackle the illegal trade of tortoise shells. Brad Nahill, the president of the turtle conservation group, has...

First African Lion Cub Born at Zoo in 20 Years

An African lion cub has been born at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This is the zoo’s very first lion cub over the past 20...

Arizona Man Arrested for Freezing Animals in His Freezer

Officials have received a complaint against an Arizona man on the charges of animal cruelty. The charges were filed against him after around 200...

Oldest Silverback Gorilla Turns 40 at Paignton Zoo

The Paignton Zoo is celebrating the 40th birthday of its oldest silverback gorilla. Pertinax is the silverback’s name. However, the zoo affectionately refers to...