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

Animal Rescue Update: Harbor Seal Admitted

Our Animal Rescue staff is currently caring for a male harbor seal nicknamed Phil. 

Read the full story

Read to Reef Book Club Returns!

In partnership with Enoch Pratt Free Library, we’re pleased to announce that another season of the Read to Reef book club starts today!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Animal Rescue Update: Harbor Seal Admitted

Published April 19, 2017

Animal Rescue Update: Final Turtle Release of the Season

Published March 31, 2017