Dolphin die-off hitting Virginia hardest

Dolphin deathA dolphin die-off in the Mid-Atlantic region is hitting Virginia, USA hardest.

Nearly 50 dolphins were found dead or dying in Virginia in July — seven times the normal rate for that month — and the pace is picking up.

“August is looking to be significantly worse,” said Mark Swingle, director of research and conservation for the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach.

The nonprofit aquarium is home to Virginia’s sole program for responding to stranded dolphins, whales and sea turtles.

Bottlenose dolphins, intelligent and charismatic mammals loved by the public, are dying at abnormally high rates this summer from New York to Virginia — 156 animals from July 1 through Monday. The average for a full year in that region is 99.

Most of the dolphins washed up dead. Some died soon after being found or were so near death they had to be euthanized. None has survived to be returned to the wild.


Full story: Times Dispatch

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