DEAD ANIMALS FOUND IN RAT POISON CONTAMINATED NEW ZEALAND AREA

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (June 6, 2001 - Radio Australia)---Dead seals and seabirds have been found in the Kaikoura coastal area where 18 tons of rat poison spilled into the sea last month after a cargo truck overturned.

The remains of two seals, dead seabirds and samples of live mussels and fish have been sent for laboratory testing.

Government environment officer Bob Simpson said the rat poison takes weeks to work. Currently, he said, there's nothing to link the birds to the spill, as it is common for seabirds to wash up on beaches.

Kaikoura is one of the few areas worldwide where whales, dolphins and other mammals can be observed feeding year-round.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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