A pod of eight common dolphins died after stranding on a beach in New Jersey in the United States.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC), which rescues and rehabilitates stranded marine animals, reported the incident on Tuesday. Two animals had already died when the MMSC located them, and the other six were euthanized “to prevent further suffering.”
The bodies of the dolphins have been taken to a state laboratory for autopsies. It’s unclear why the dolphins were stranded on the Sea Isle City beach in southern New Jersey.
“The decision was made to humanely euthanize the dolphins to prevent further suffering, as returning them to the ocean would have only prolonged their inevitable death,” MMSC said in a Facebook post.
The discovery on Tuesday came about a week after the center reported that an adult and a calf dolphin died after washing ashore on a sandbar in Sandy Hook Bay in New Jersey.
There are many reasons why dolphins might beach themselves: one reason may be illness, injury or disease that weakens the dolphin, causing them to swim close to shore where they become stranded.
Another reason could be navigational errors, where dolphins lose their way and end up in shallow waters. In some cases, dolphins may beach themselves as a result of chasing prey or escaping predators.
In addition, environmental factors such as pollution, changes in water temperature, or noise pollution from human activity may contribute to the beaching of dolphins. There may also be social factors at play, such as following a sick or injured pod member to shore.
Beaching can be dangerous for dolphins as they can quickly become dehydrated, their skin can dry out, and their internal organs can be damaged if they remain out of the water for too long.