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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Twelve dolphins found dead on Achill Island

The mass stranding in Mayo was reported by the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group.

Keem Beach
Keem Beach
Image: Ruth McKenna

AT LEAST 12 dolphins were found dead on the beaches of Achill Island over the past two days.

Most of the common dolphins had died recently and were washed up on Keel Strand, Dookinella and Keem Bay.

The local council has buried some of the creatures, according to the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group’s spokesperson John O’Shea.

Although a biopsy would be required to figure out exact cause of death, recent storms may have been a factor.

“While there are occasionally live strandings involving groups of dolphins, it is very unusual in this country to see this number of dead dolphins washed ashore over a 10km area,” the IWDG said in a statement online.

O’Shea said a pod of dolphins is currently situated in quite shallow water between Achillbeg and Cloch Mór.

Dolphins at Whalers Cove, western Australia (Image: DEC Western Australia)

Meanwhile, there was more potentially-tragic news for dolphins in Australia as the Department of Environment and Conservation reports it is responding to a potential mass stranding on southwest coast.

Between 100 and 150 pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attentuata are currently in shallow water at Whalers Cove, south-east of Albany. At least one has died.

“The good thing is they are not beached, but are milling around in the water,” said regional leader Deon Utber.

“They aren’t leaving the area at the moment but we’re hoping that with the high tide this afternoon they will move off into deeper water under their own steam.

“In the event this doesn’t happen, we are putting together a strategy to try and drive them out to sea.

“At the moment the main thing is not to disturb the animals.”

More: First whales of the year spotted off Wexford coast

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