Don't Touch the Dead Dolphins
Coastalareas areseeing an influx of dead dolphins due to suspected virus
Beginning in late spring, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), they were informed of similar instances along the northern Atlantic seaboard–particularly in the New Jersey area.
So far over 100 dead dolphins have been found along the Atlantic coast.
Just this past week over 25 dolphins washed up in theHampton Roadsarea, including First Landing State Park. While testing is still ongoing, the culprit appears to be a measles/distemper type virus that caused dolphin deaths several years ago. Dolphins born after that outbreak may not have developed resistance to this new version of the virus.
Dolphins often frolic off the coast of First Landing State Park
It is absolutely imperative that beach-goers not touch the dead dolphins. While there have not been any cases of this virus being transferred to humans, touching the dolphin carcasses causes contamination issues for research scientists trying to figure out the exact cause of death. If you find a dead dolphin, please alert park staff immediately and/or call the stranding response team. TheVirginia Aquarium Stranding Response team can be reached at (757) 385-7575.
You can do your part to help the dolphins by picking up litter, not using plastic grocery bags–these bags mimic jellyfish in the water and dolphins can die from ingesting the bags and not disturbing dolphin pods while kayaking or boating.
For more in-depth information, please click here for a variety of videos and news stories about these dolphin deaths from our partner news station, WAVY 10, based out of Hampton Roads.
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