Update: Bottlenose Dolphin Strandings Continue in Historic Numbers

More than 200 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have washed ashore along the East Coast this summer. This alarming number is seven times higher than what's normally seen in the Mid-Atlantic region - a statistic which caused the National Marine Fisheries Service to declare an "unusual mortality event." 

Unfortunately, following the declaration of the the event last week, the has been no curb in the number of dolphins stranding on our shores. It is estimated that 25 dolphins were found in Virginia just over the weekend.

"We don't know exactly what's causing it, but we suspect it might be a virus called the morbillivirus," our VP of Biological Programs, Brent Whitaker, told CNN's Brian Todd yesterday during an interview here in Baltimore. Click below to watch the entire interview: 

CNN interview at national aquarium

The morbillivirus, a culprit very similar to the measles, killed approximately 740 dolphins in a similar event along the East Coast in 1987.

Although the virus has been found in some of the dolphins studied this year, it will take months for the federal investigation to produce a clear answer on what's behind this event.

As part of the Northeast Stranding Network, our Animal Rescue and Animal Health teams have been deeply engaged in the efforts to study these dolphins and determine a cause of death.

Stay tuned to the blog for more updates! 

Previous Post

Featured Stories

national-aquarium-staff-holding-rescue-sea-turtle-on-beach Animal Rescue Update: February Sea Turtle Release

Yesterday, National Aquarium Animal Rescue released 34 sea turtles on the Canaveral National Seashore in Florida!

Read the full story

artificial-oyster-reef-in-inner-harbor Harbor Happenings: Artificial Oyster Reef

The National Aquarium is taking another step to revitalize Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and attract native species with a new artificial oyster reef using shells from the Oyster Recovery Partnership!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Update: Dolphin Mirror Study

Published January 13, 2015

Can this Groundbreaking Technology Help Stroke Victims?

Published October 15, 2014