A number of stray dogs in the Indian city of Navi Mumbai have turned blue in a phenomenon that has many concerned about pollution levels in the area.
The dogs, who do not appear to be otherwise harmed, have had lighter areas of fur dyed a brilliant blue color. The cause of the mysterious color change is suspected to be industrial waste runoff from one or more of the hundreds of chemical, pharmaceutical, and other factories in the area. According to the Hindustan Times, a blue dye used in detergent production is the leading suspect.
While blue dogs are one of the more noticeable effects of pollution in the region, many residents are concerned about other, less visible effects the pollution might be having on them and the local wildlife. Water tests performed in the area indicated that levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) were over ten times above the safe limit. Other pollutants were also detected at high levels.
“We have only spotted blue dogs so far. We do not know if birds, reptiles and other creatures are affected or if they have even died owing to the dye discharged into the air.”
— Arati Chauhan, Resident, Navi Mumbai
Government officials have secured the area affected by the dye and have issued a warning to the factory suspected of dumping it. Officials have warned that additional actions may be taken if the contamination persists.