Episode 10, Season 1 of Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved looked at a global increase in animal die-offs, a phenomena referred to as the “Animal Apocalypse.” Several examples of this were then investigated.
On New Year’s Eve 2010 in Beebe, Arkansas, blackbirds swarmed all over the town, impacting with buildings and other objects, and dropping dead on lawns and streets. The next morning, residents found 5,000 dead birds in the city. In a scene reminiscent of The X-Files, crews in Hazmat suits were called in, collecting the birds and taking them to a wildlife health center in Madison, Wisconsin where experts examined the bodies and found that birds were not ill but had impact injuries, dying from blunt force trauma. The question was why had blackbirds bruised and battered their bodies in Beebe; nothing like a little alliteration to liven things up! The best answer was that New Year’s Eve fireworks displays had scared hundreds of thousands of birds, forcing them into flight at night when the species couldn’t see, causing them to simply fly into things, which did not go well for them.
Elsewhere in Ozark, Arkansas 80,000 drum fish were found dead along the Arkansas River. No abnormal toxins were found in the water, but examination of the fish revealed that they had over-inflated swim bladders, a condition referred to as gas bubble disease. This condition was felt to have been caused by an abnormally high number of gate openings at a dam on the river.
Some entire species of bees are disappearing at a furious rate in a phenomena referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder .” Such things could pose a direct threat to the world food supply of fruits, nuts, and vegetables where pollination by bees is critical. The mystery of the vanishing bees remains unsolved. “White Nose Syndrome” has also ravaged bat populations in the eastern U.S., causing strange behavior such as bats flying out during the day and in winter. Five to seven million bats were lost during the winter of 2008, with the afflicted bats showing a fungus which eroded through tissues and made them thirsty during normal hibernation times.
Time was given to a Pastor Wohlberg, who felt that species die-offs were part of Biblical end times prophesy. By this viewpoint, it’s all a reflection of corruption of the Earth due to human immorality…
Wildlife die-offs have been noted globally, in countries that have included England, Brazil, Italy, the Philippines, and Peru. Pandemics are likely to happen as animal diseases jump to human populations. This occurred with the Black Death that ravaged medieval Europe, as well as with the 1918 Influenza epidemic, the West Nile virus, the Swine Flu, and others. Pathogens getting into the human population increases every year, so we can reasonably expect more of the same in the future, with animal populations providing an advance warning.