• France's news in English

Algae suspected as boars found dead on French beach

AFP · 28 Jul 2011, 06:24

Published: 28 Jul 2011 12:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jul 2011 06:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dozens of wild boars have turned up dead this month around a beach in western France, suspected victims of poisonous blue-green algae, officials say.

Three dead boars were found on Wednesday at the mouth of the Gouessant estuary in Brittany, an AFP journalist witnessed, bringing to 31 the number found this month, floating in the water or washed up in the area.

The nearby beach has been closed for safety, its cove stinking with algae which give off a poisonous gas when they rot.

"One of the theories we have is that the animals could have drunk water that could contain algae," said Gilles Buet, a Brittany water official.

"They were not sick and they did not drown," said local police official Philippe De Gestas.

"We found two carcasses in the morning, then five more, then it went up to 17" and later 18, he said on Tuesday.

Local authorities said in a statement that tests on the water revealed a level of blue-green algae "above the alert level but below the danger level".

Officials and environmentalists say the spread of algae is driven by nitrates used in fertiliser. The proliferation of the minute organisms was speeded by unusually hot weather early this summer.

In 2009 a person in France died after working to clear algae, as well as a horse.

Story continues below…

Officials were testing for hydrogen sulphide, a poisonous gas given off by the blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, when they decompose.

Gestas said they were also carrying out autopsies on some of the boars.

Further test results were due Wednesday, the statement said.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available