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Peru says dolphins died of natural causes; environmental groups unconvinced

Wednesday, May 23rd 2012 - 01:41 UTC
Full article 8 comments
Almost 900 dolphins were washed up along Peru’s northern coast Almost 900 dolphins were washed up along Peru’s northern coast

Nearly 900 dolphins that washed up along Peru's northern coast since the start of the year died of natural causes, a top official said Tuesday, citing a government report.

Environmental groups, however, remained unconvinced and said they were certain the massive dolphin losses was linked to offshore oil exploration in the area.

“We have reached the conclusion that the deaths were from natural causes,” said Gladys Trevino, Peru's Production Minister, speaking on local radio as she announced the results of a government investigation.

Trevino said the study by the government-run Institute of Peru's Ocean (IMARPE) had ruled out other explanations such as offshore oil exploration or viral or bacterial infections.

“It's not the first time that this has happened,” she said, pointing to what she said were similar mass dolphin die-offs in Australia, New Zealand and other countries.

Peruvian officials had already suggested that the dolphins, along with some 5.000 dead sea birds -- mostly pelicans -- died due to the effects of rising temperatures in Pacific waters.

The Scientific Organization for the Conservation of Aquatic Animals, ORCA, has said the dolphin deaths were linked to the noise from oil exploration.

A representative from ORCA said the group earlier this month tested 30 dead dolphins and found broken ears and damaged organs consistent with the victims suffering “the bends,” also known as decompression sickness.

Categories: Environment, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Boovis

    If 900 people dropped dead in a street at once, would you say it was natural causes?

    May 23rd, 2012 - 05:33 am 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    1 May be they asked a survivor, that's what the Brits did with the millions of dead penguins.

    May 23rd, 2012 - 05:43 am 0
  • Boovis

    Wow, the Brits are clearly the cause of all the problems in your life, amazing how such varied psychological issues you suffer from can be all boiled down to one thing. Either that or you're deflecting all your problems onto one item so that you can ignore your personal issues by pretending other things are to blame and not yourself. One of those anyway.

    May 23rd, 2012 - 05:54 am 0
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