Over 60 Dolphins Found Washed Up On Tourist Beach

CENPublished: March 26, 2018
Published: March 26, 2018

Over 60 dolphins have been found stranded on a popular beach resort and experts have said that killer whales could be responsible.

Sixty-one short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were found washed up in Puerto Madryn, an Argentine city in northern Patagonia.

According to local authorities, 49 died on the coast of the El Doradillo Protected Natural Area while 12 were able to be returned to the sea alive.

A couple walking around the coastal area noticed an unusual number of birds on the beach and investigated. When they saw that they were pecking at scores of dead dolphins lining the shore, they immediately called emergency services.

Coastal authorities acted quickly and managed to get as many dolphins back into the water as they could, saving a dozen.

The operation was headed by Mariano Coscarella and Silvana Dans, scientists for the Marine Mammal Laboratory for the Study of Marine Systems.

Coscarella explained: "We have a protocol in place and local authorities are helping us with the logistics. First, we will store the dead specimens and then start an investigation into their deaths. It is the first case of marine mammals being stranded in this region, therefore it is an unprecedented situation."

Secretary of Protected Areas Nestor Garcia said: "It has been a very sad morning. Fortunately some dolphins were saved. After speaking with specialists, I can say that there has been an increased presence of killer whales in the area but we do not yet know if that is a cause. We will have to wait for the results of the investigation."

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