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The bodies of nearly 2,500 endangered species of seals have washed up along the Caspian Sea coast in Southern Russia. Authorities say they expect the number of deceased seals to increase as they were still counting, Reuters reports.

The seals were discovered between the mouths of two rivers, the Sulak and Shurinka. Both of the rivers connect to the Caspian Sea, the largest landlocked body of water in the world. The sea is bordered by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan.

Caspian seals have been classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list since 2008. It is believed that the seals probably died a couple of weeks before they were discovered. The Caspian Environmental Protection Centre said in a statement that the seals appeared to have died due to “natural factors.”

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