Dolphin deaths in Virginia raise concerns

Common dolphins are usually seen offshore. Credit: Ed Dunens

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is responding to a growing number of common dolphin sightings and strandings, including five deaths. The sightings are unusual, the aquarium says, since the dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are usually seen offshore, not in shallow inshore waters. In addition to the dead dolphins, the aquarium’s stranding team identified several dolphins moving or stranded in shallow creeks. The Virginia Aquarium Response Team plans to conduct necropsies to determine the cause of death, but biologists do not suspect human interaction was involved.

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