Three More Dolphins Wash Up On Ocean City Beaches - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Three More Dolphins Wash Up On Ocean City Beaches

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - Three more dolphins washed up on the beaches of Ocean City on Friday, which officials believe is another case in the ongoing "unusual mortality event."

The event defines an unexpected, significant die-off of any marine mammal population, and demands immediate response. The event was declared in July 2013 due to increased bottlenose dolphin strandings in the Mid-Atlantic Region including the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia beginning in early July 2013.

On Friday, two of the dolphins were reportedly bottlenose dolphins, while one was a common dolphin. Officials believe that most of the deaths were the result of a Morbillivirus, but they are still waiting for the results on these three dolphins.

Since July, officials say there have been nearly 300 cases of dead or dying dolphins recovered or rescued in the mid-Atlantic region. They say the last time an event like this happened it was in 1988 through 1989, and it lasted about a year.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is urging the public to stay away from dead animals or live animals that may wash up on shore.

"Although the Morbillivirus is not contagious to humans, these animals that are either alive or dead can still be very dangerous," says Cindy Driscoll, director of the Fish and Wildlife Health Program with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. "Let the experts deal with them."

Driscoll says that anyone who comes across an alive or dead marine animal to call 1-800-628-9944.

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