Baby Dolphins Dying | The Jackal

7 Mar 2011

Baby Dolphins Dying

Here's the original story from the Detroit Free Press.

Baby dolphins, some barely 3 feet in length, are washing up along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines at 10 times the normal rate of stillborn and infant deaths, researchers say.

Seventeen young dolphins, either aborted or dead soon after birth, have been collected along the shorelines in recent weeks, the Sun Herald of Biloxi, Miss., reports. Typically, one or two are found during breeding months of January and February.

Moby Solangi, director of the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, called the number of deaths an anomaly and said it's significant, in light of the BP oil spill last year, when millions of barrels of crude oil containing toxins and carcinogens spewed into the gulf. She said she is gathering tissue and organs for a thorough forensic study and hopes to have results in a couple of weeks.

This is the first birthing season since the spill. Deaths in the adult dolphin population rose in the year of the oil spill from a norm of about 30 to 89, she said.