Aug 06, 2015 I Paul Seaburn

No Explanation For Mysterious Sheep Deaths in Kazakhstan

I’m sure Kazakhstan is a beautiful country full of wonderful people, but for some reason the news from there seems to always be about strange sleeping sicknesses, giant skulls, UFOs, mysterious craters and mass animal deaths. In the latter category is the latest news of the sudden unexplained deaths of over 1,000 sheep in one small district. Is it time to move out of Kazakhstan, Stan?

According to news reports, the mysterious sheep deaths began in late June in the Kyzylorda region in south Kazakhstan. Temperatures in Kyzylorda reached 113 degrees F (45 C) in July and by the end of the month, over 1,000 animals were dead on just five sheep farms in the district.

An emergency was declared by Bakhyt Žahanov, the head of the regional Department of Agriculture, who feared the mysterious deaths would spread like the disaster in May 2015 when over 100,000 rare saiga antelopes died in the Kostanai region of Kazakhstan. Those deaths were eventually attributed to an outbreak of pasteurellosis, a respiratory infection, but some locals believed they may have been tied to a rocket with a secret payload that crashed shortly after launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Dead antelope in Kazakhstan

The remaining sheep are being treated for pasteurellosis while tissue samples from carcasses are being analyzed to determine the reason for their demise.

What else could be causing the deaths? The Kazakhstan government claims it has solved the sleeping sickness mystery in Kalachi where over 140 people and some animals suddenly fell asleep and woke up days later. The official cause given is carbon monoxide gas trapped in nearby abandoned uranium mines. This is probably not what’s happening in Kyzylorda since the sheep that fall over there aren’t waking up.

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Dead sheep in Kazakhstan

They haven’t fallen in any mysterious craters like those found in the Perm region, which were also eventually attributed to abandoned mines, although a big one occurred shortly after the appearance of a UFO.

It’s easy for government officials to quickly blame the sheep deaths on pasteurellosis and tell residents to move along … nothing to see here. Unfortunately, this is Kazakhstan, home of mysterious abandoned mines filled with unexplained deadly gases, rockets crashing with secret payloads and humanoids with giant skulls.

Are the sheep deaths some kind of warning?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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