17 Dead Baby Dolphins in The Gulf of Mexico

Going green, Wildlife — By on February 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm
dead baby dolphin in Gulf of Mexico1 300x204 17  Dead Baby Dolphins in The Gulf of Mexico

Dead baby dolphin in the Gulf of Mexico

The mass deaths of birds, fish, crabs and bats may have receded from the news, but they are still going on. It’s calving season in the Gulf of Mexico where dolphins come every year to give birth.  This year so far, according to The Sun-Herald , 17  dead baby dolphins, either stillborn or dead soon after birth, have washed up on the beaches of Mississippi and Alabama.

Scientists are concerned. According to  Blair Mase, NOAA’s marine mammal stranding coordinator for the Southeast region,  the number of baby dolphin deaths is unusually high this year.   Normally, during the calving season one or two dead baby dolphins will wash up on the shore per month.  This year we are talking about ten times the normal rate of miscarriage and stillbirth at what is just a bit past the middle of the birthing season.

The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is doing necropsies( animal autopsies) on two of the dead animals in an attempt to solve the mystery.  Bone and tissue samples will be taken for later examination.  According to the Institute’s Director, Moby Solangi, the increased numbers of infant dolphin deaths are significant,especially in light of last year’s BP oil spill which unleashed millions of tons of oil and other toxins into the Gulf, many of which have made their way to Mississippi and Chandeleur sounds and other bays and shallow waters where dolphins breed and give birth.  Another clue is adult dophin deaths spiked after the oilspill from around 39 per year to 86.  The institute is gathering tissue and organs for a thorough forensic study. As Solangi observes;

“We shouldn’t really jump to any conclusions until we get some results,” Solangi said. “But this is more than just a coincidence.”

dolphin closeupjpg 17  Dead Baby Dolphins in The Gulf of Mexico

dead baby dolphin on the beach

Nothing happens in isolation.  Mysterious animal deaths, particulary involving birds and marine life, are happening all over the planet.  They may not all be the result of  last year’s BP Oilspill, but they are all the result of  human tinkering with the natural world and our poisoning of the environment.  They are all connected to our exploitation of the world around us.  Like canaries in the coal mine, they are  a warning.

The dolphins are paying the price now.  If we do not do something to stop this poisoning of the natural environment, we will soon be  paying a painful price as well.

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6 Comments

  1. Qudsia says:

    This is so sad how these poor animals get washed u on shore! This could either mean pollution in the water (e.g. trash, cans, bottles) and that could also be killing them. Nobody ever thinks about this! Recycling is so important! Just look at these poor dolphins!! =(

  2. Roberta says:

    Thanks for your comment Qudsia– yes, recycling is important and so is not pouring toxins into our air and water. The baby dolphins are so sad and the numbers of birds and fish dying for mysterious reasons all over the world are also a little scary. We humans really do need to get serious about cleaning up the mess we’ve made.

  3. This is an excellent article. As horrible as this situation is, there actually is good news. Our environmental and conservation organization has been working in the Gulf for the past 10 months with scientists, regulatory officials and civic leaders to find realistic solutions to cleaning up the Gulf waters and returning them, at least, back to their pre-blow out condition. We found effective, realistic, and down-to-earth solutions which are non-toxic and a fraction of the cost of the other “solutions” which aren’t working. We produced a 30-minute TV program to educate the public on what these solutions are and who is preventing them from being implemented, and we highly recommend that people view the program and then contact us if they want to help. The program is at http://www.TheEarthOrganizationGulfVideo.org.

  4. kirby jones says:

    My 9 yr old daughter was very upset after hearing about this and is desperatly looking for a way she or her and her class can help with the oil spill and the dolphins. If anyone has any suggestions PLEASE let me know

  5. Roberta says:

    Thank you Barbara for adding the link to your video. Good to know about the work you are doing.

    and Kirby– I can only suggest that you get in touch with the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies at
    http://www.imms.org/aboutimms.php

  6. Brenda says:

    it is really sad what us humans are doing to this beautiful world. about how much does the clean up of dead animals cost?

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