Gulf of Mexico oil spill: dead dolphins found washed up on US coast
US wildlife officials are investigating whether the deaths of six
dolphins on the Gulf Coast are related to the massive oil spill.
Published: 7:00AM BST 12 May 2010
The Telegraph UK
Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service said that dolphin
carcasses had been found in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama since
May 2. Samples have been sent for testing to see whether the massive
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was to blame for their deaths.
Mr Mase and animal rescue coordinator Michele Kelley in Louisiana said
that none of the carcasses had obvious signs of oil. Mr Mase also said
it's common for dead dolphins to wash up this time of year when they
are in shallow waters to calve.
Moby Solangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, said
his agency found one of the dolphins on the north side of Horn Island
in Mississippi. He said the body was decomposed.
"We have this additional factor (oil spill) going on, so that will be
tested," Mr Solangi said. "We are not leaving that factor out and they
are being tested."
There are 3,000 to 5,000 dolphins in and around Mississippi waters and
an estimated 75,000 in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal officials reported
that about a dozen birds, fouled and sickened by oil, had been rescued,
and that two had been rehabilitated enough to be released.
Dozens of dead sea turtles have also been found.