Dolphins Die in Mass Beaching in South Africa
Discovery Earth Alert, March 27, 2000
The carcasses of 28 beached dolphins were found on a remote beach in South Africa on Sunday, leaving marine biologists mystified. The dolphins were discovered on a stretch of white sandy beach in the Woody Cape Nature Reserve near the Indian Ocean city of Port Elizabeth. Sandy Thackeray, of Bayworld Oceanarium, reported that a group of scientists and volunteers discovered the sea mammals were already dead when they were found and appeared to have been beached for several days. Thackeray said, "We go regularly to get one or two (beached dolphins), but it's really unusual for a whole lot to strand themselves at the same time at the same place." She speculated that a possible cause was that the dolphins had become disoriented in a frantic attempt to escape predators. Autopsies will be conducted to try to determine the cause for the mass beaching.