A wild boar lies dead on a Brittany beach, one of three found dead that day on the shores of the Gouessant estuary. 18 more were found dead the previous day, making a total of 31 this month.
Ecologists attribute the deaths to blooms of toxic green algae along the coast, which are commonly believed to feed on the enormous amounts of agricultural fertilisers that are washed off fields, into rivers and streams and ultimately out to sea.
The cause of death has not yet been determined by autopsy but a local police official, Philippe De Gestas, was recorded saying: “They were not [otherwise] sick and they did not drown.”
The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy has dismissed those making links between fertilisers and algal blooms as ‘environmental fundamentalists’.