Mysterious disease strips bears of coats

November 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A mysterious disease is stripping bears across Europe of their winter coat, leaving them virtually bald.

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This picture of one of the bears is from a zoo in central Germany where the bears are afflicted with the disease.

They are being treated with ointment to relieve the itchiness that comes with the condition.

A genetic defect may be to blame.

Experts working to understand the problem are up against the clock. The onset of winter means the bears are likely to get very cold.

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