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In 2009, wildlife disease expert Dr. Mourad Gabriel was doing field research high in the Sierra mountain range, not far from Yosemite National Park, when he came upon a dead Pacific fisher. The long, slender, weasel-like rodent did not appear to be the victim of any sort of predator attack, showing no outward signs of distress, damage, or disease. But when Gabriel and his team got the animal back to the lab for further inspection, they found its chest cavity completely full of blood.
Up until that point, the researchers had never seen or heard of anything like it. In late January of this year, one of Gabriel’s family dogs, a black lab by the name of Nyxo, was found dead at the doctor’s home in Arcata, in northern California. When his pet was cut open to determine the cause of its sudden and mysterious death, it too had a chest cavity engulfed in blood. Now as Julie Cart reports for the LA Times, Dr. Gabriel is speaking out.