January 2016: Most dead dolphins in South MS since oil spill - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

January 2016: Most dead dolphins in South MS since oil spill

One of the healthy dolphins currently housed at IMMS in Gulfport. (Image Source: WLOX News) One of the healthy dolphins currently housed at IMMS in Gulfport. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The dolphin rescue teams have found nearly ten dolphins on the south Mississippi beaches this month. (Image Source: WLOX News) The dolphin rescue teams have found nearly ten dolphins on the south Mississippi beaches this month. (Image Source: WLOX News)
This where the samples are taken from the dead dolphins tissue to be sent for testing. (Image Source: WLOX News) This where the samples are taken from the dead dolphins tissue to be sent for testing. (Image Source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

More dead dolphins have washed up on South Mississippi's beaches in January 2016 than any other month since the BP oil spill. That's according to officials at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.

"We've had about nine dead dolphins that have been reported. There have been about five of them that haven't been able to get to them," said Director of IMMS Moby Solangi.

Solangi said two or three dead dolphins is normal in the winter months, but more than 10 is enough reason to believe that a harmful algae bloom has played a role.

"We had an abnormal red tide in the winter months. Usually through the food chain, you get the higher level atrophic level animals getting affected. That's why it's taking a little time," said Solangi.

Solangi said he initially believed the red tide would kill some dolphins, and now they have seen it come to pass. The dead dolphins they have been able to take in have been necropsied, and they're just waiting on the results to see if the red tide caused their deaths.

"We have submitted to the government, and the government has its own time, so we are hoping that we will get some results back soon. That's the only way to confirm bio-toxins that are related to the red tide," said Solangi.

Just because the red tide has cleared up doesn't mean the dolphins are in the clear. Unfortunately, another cause for concern is the birthing season.

"There are a lot of pregnant animals out there that are going to start giving birth in February and March and April, and so, if they have been eating food, that's something we are going to be looking at," said Solangi.

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