It's been a mixed week for Washington fauna.
On the one hand, a brand new species of mammal was discovered to be living at the National Zoo!
But then there's the other hand. On Wednesday evening, approximately 1000 fish were found dead in a pond at the National Mall. National Park Service employees spent Thursday "scooping up the dead bluegills out of the Constitution Gardens pond," as NBC Washington put it.
NPS spokesperson Carol Johnson told ABC News that the deaths are likely due to environmental causes:
Johnson said this has happened before, particularly in the summertime, although she could not recall the most recent incident.
“Because of the way [the pond is] constructed it’s an ongoing problem,” said Johnson. She explained that because the pond is not near a river, it is a closed system and is therefore difficult to keep in ecological balance, which can cause incidents like the death of these fish.
Johnson added that NPS has "identified it as an area that needs to be worked on."
Blue-green algae may be to blame, John Emminizer with the D.C. Department of the Environment told WTOP. Emminizer explained that the algae sucks up the pond's oxygen at night, killing the fish, but posing no threat to "the public or other animals."
— Bruce Leshan (@BruceLeshan) August 15, 2013
(AP Photo/Mark Gurney)
This is the new mammal, the olinguito -- a 2-pound fig-eater which is the first carnivore mammal to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years, according to the Washington Post.
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