Environmental authorities are investigating the deaths of more than 800 dolphins that have washed up on the northern coast of Peru this year.
The dolphins may have died from an outbreak of Morbillivirus or Brucella bacteria, said Peruvian Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria, according to Peru’s state-run Andina news agency.
More than 80% of those dolphins were found in an advanced state of decomposition, making it difficult to study their deaths, according to Andina.
Officials have been able to conclude that the dolphins’ deaths were not due to lack of food, interaction with fisheries, poisoning with pesticides, biotoxin poisoning or contamination by heavy metals.
The results of a histopathological analysis — which would indicate possible contamination by a virus — are expected to be ready in the coming days.
This is an update to several stories about unexpected dolphin mortality events (UME). The mass animal deaths have stirred up controversy and mystery. These dolphins have been washing up dead on the Peruvian shore for a while and the Peruvian Sea Institute is doing an investigation of the case to try and get the answers to these deaths.