Over 100 Dead Dolphins Found Stranded On Beach
Over 100 dead dolphins were found stranded on a beach on an island just off the coast of West Africa on Tuesday.
Reports from Cape Verde called on Spanish experts from the nearby Canary Islands to try to work out what caused the creatures to become stuck on the beach.
The melon-headed dolphins were found on Boa Vista island on Tuesday. The island is known for its coastal waters which are a route for migrating humpback whales.
Residents, tourists and researchers managed to drag some of them back out to sea, but many of them returned back to shore.
Despite the joint effort, people involved were forced to bury 136 of the dolphins.
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Some of the dolphins did survive the beaching, with a few of them swimming out to sea. Although experts stated that they may not have long left to live after the traumatic ordeal.
Scientists believe that the leader of the dolphin school may have got lost or disorientated and the rest of the animals followed.
According to some reports, because they are such sociable and loyal creatures, some mass strandings can happen when healthy whales and dolphins refuse to abandon a sick or injured pod member and follow them into shallow water.
BIOS Cape Verde, a volunteer environmental association in the former Portuguese colony, said on its Facebook page Friday that it took samples from 50 dolphins and four others were placed in freezers to be preserved by the local council.
The group said that vets from the University of Las Palmas in Spain's Canary Islands are due to arrive at the island over the next few days to perform tests on the animals.
Activists have said that similar incidence have been seen in the past and called for the protection of the the diverse wildlife off the Atlantic coast of Africa.
In March it was reported that 1,100 dolphins had beached themselves on the shores of France in just three months, a 40-year record high.
Many were mutilated with injuries sustained from being trapped in fishing nets and having their fins cut off.
Possible causes put that have been suggested by researchers for the cause of beachings and dolphins getting lost include things like weather conditions, diseases such as viruses, brain lesions, parasites in the ears or sinuses. Seismic activity (like underwater earthquakes) has been blamed, as has things like Navy sonar equipment and the seabed changing.
Featured Image Credit: AP