Death of four dolphins found on Cardigan Bay beaches prompts investigation

The four dead dolphins are all believed to be of the same species - common dolphins. Credit: PA Images

The bodies of four dolphins, found along the same stretch of coast in west Wales, has prompted an investigation.

Scientists were called out to examine the animals to see if there was any connection between their deaths in Cardigan Bay over the weekend.

One was discovered just outside Tywyn, Gwynedd, while the other three were found around the coast near Aberystwyth.

The bay is home to Britain’s biggest resident population of dolphins, with common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises a regular sight.

Conservationists believe the reason so many of the marine creatures, which appear to have all been common dolphins, washed up on neighboring beaches can be explained by recent bad weather.

The Marine Environmental Monitoring organisation posted on social media, describing the injuries discovered on each dolphin. Observations made by their conservationists did not give much away in terms of cause of death but several did have signs of scavenger injuries obtained after death.

They did note that one of the dolphins showed signs that is had been attacked by another dolphin, while one of the others appeared malnourished.

They believe it is likely the adverse weather is why so many dolphins were found dead along the coast within such a close distance to one another.

A Marine Environmental Monitoring spokesperson said: "It isn’t unusual to get a lot of reports of cetaceans washing up when there is bad weather like the weather, we are having around Wales currently.

"We are also able to roughly plot where we expect to get reports of strandings by working out where there will be a on shore wind. This is the case with these four.

"There doesn’t seem to be any link between the four with them all showing signs of dying at different times and with different possible causes.

"Unfortunately we haven’t been able to get out to all the different reports we have had this weekend, but thank you to everyone that has reported a stranding as each report gives us further data as to what is happening in our seas."

They added that anyone who spots a dead dolphin, seal or large shark along the UK coastline should call the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme to report the sighting.

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