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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Mass stranding of dolphins remains a mystery

Initial post-mortem examinations of some of the 26 dolphins found dead in Cornwall have so far revealed no clues as to the cause of the mass stranding.

The animals appear to have been well-fed and there were no obvious signs of disease or poisoning.

The dolphins died when they became trapped in a river creek off the Fal estuary on Monday.

Confusing sonar signals from ships are among the possible causes being considered by wildlife experts.

And they are continuing to search the area in case there are more dolphins in trouble.

David Jarvis, from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue organisation, told BBC News there are several different theories as to why the animals ended up trapped in Porth creek.

"They could have been looking for food," he said.

"It could have been something to do with sonar, it could have been that there was a killer whale out there that frightened them. "It's obviously quite worrying, because they were over such a large area of coastline."

The stranding has been described as the worst ever seen in the UK.

The last case was 27 years ago when a pod of whales were stranded on the east coast.

Some of the dead animals found on Monday are believed to have been pregnant. Two of them had to be put down.

Veterinary pathologist Vic Simpson, who performed some of the post-mortem tests, said: "It's quite unprecedented, we have never had anything of this magnitude."

He said he thought there was a "good chance" of working out the cause of the dolphin deaths.

* source BBC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No mystery at all, active sonar is torturing and killing marine mammals all over the world, a good analogy for this sort of "blindness" would be having icepicks jammed through your eyeballs whilst simultaneously
being exposed to 190+db blasts of audio. You can bet, it hurts. Then a slow lingering death ensues as navigation and fish locating is completely impaired. Why do they always say mystery stranding? starving dolphin found bleeding from cranium, mysteriously deaf etc...
how dumb.

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