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Sunday, February 2, 2014

500 dolphins die in northern Peru...

500 dolphins die in northern Peru

500 dolphins die in northern Peru

Mystery surrounds the discovery of hundreds of dead dolphins on beaches in Peru.
At least 500 of the mammals have been founded washed up on beaches there in recent weeks, and scientists are at a loss to explain why.
The Peruvian Sea Institute, or Imarpe, sent a team of scientists to investigate why the dolphins beached themselves in the northern regions of Lambayeque and Piura.
Other beachings of dolphins occurred in the past two years in northern Peru.
The team covered a 142-kilometre stretch of coast on January 28-29, travelling from Pimentel, a resort city in Lambayeque, to the southern part of the reserve in Illescas, located in Piura, the newspaper said, citing officials.
Experts found at least 400 beached dolphins, with the discovery coming after around 100 other dolphins beached themselves in recent weeks.
Fishermen told the Imarpe team the dolphins were caught in nets regularly and drowned.
The scientists, however, confirmed that some young and adult dolphins died at sea and others arrived on the beaches near death.
Tests on tissue samples in Lima determined the dolphins were not poisoned by fishermen and did not die from the effects of any oil exploration activities.
It's thought they may have died from ingesting toxic algae.
Imarpe spokesperson Jaime de la Cruz says officials are concerned about the deaths because dolphins approach the coast at this time of year to mate and feed.
In 2012, about 800 dolphins were found dead in central and northern Peru, with Imarpe concluding in a report that the animals died from natural causes.
Contact with fishing vessels, pesticides, pollution from heavy metals and seismic mining exploration were among the human causes ruled out.
The report, however, also ruled out some possible natural causes of the deaths, including lack of food, bacterial infections, viral infections and biotoxins.
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