Researchers ‘cannot rule out’ bird flu spreading between sea lions

More than 600 sea lions have been found dead or dying on Peruvian beaches this year in the first mass mortality event of wild mammals from bird flu in South America

Life 14 February 2023 , updated 14 February 2023

South American Sea Lions

Hundreds of South American sea lions are thought to have died from bird flu

Shutterstock / slowmotiongli

A mass outbreak of avian flu among sea lions in Peru has revived fears the virus could be passing between mammals.

Since the start of the year, more than 600 sea lions (Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis) have been found dead or dying on Peruvian beaches.

Six animals were tested for influenza and all tested positive. PCR tests confirmed that the virus was the H5N1 bird flu subtype that has killed tens of millions of wild and …

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