What's Killing Dozens Of Dolphins Off The Jersey Coast? - KMSP-TV

What's Killing Dozens Of Dolphins Off The Jersey Coast?

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AVALON, N.J. -

Twenty-four dolphins have now died along the New Jersey coastline in 24 days.

Experts believe it's a natural disease cycle and has no impact on humans, FOX 29's Stephanie Esposito reported Friday night.

Since July 9, the two dozen dolphins like have washed onto beach, and all but one of them were bottlenose dolphins.

Two turned up Friday, one in Lower Township and the other Friday morning on a jetty in Avalon.

One woman there told FOX 29 that she had her grandchildren there with her and didn't want them to go down and see it because they would be upset.

"It's sad to see dolphins. I don't like to see that," she said.

The Department of Environmental Protection says their regular tests of the ocean water are exceptionally clean.

A local fisherman agreed, saying the fish look clean and great.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine says four dolphins tested positive for pneumonia and another for Morbillivirus, a naturally-occurring virus in dolphin populations that they spread to each other when they come up for air.

The exhaust from their blowholes will spit out tiny particles of water from the lungs, and as they breathe in the others may take in those articles, letting the virus into their bodies.

The disease killed more than 90 dolphins back in 1987 in New Jersey.

At this point, officials think they're going to see more.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center was funded by a federal grant, but the government canceled it. So, they're accepting any public donations that they can.

LINK: Marine Mammal Stranding Center

Esposito also reported what to do if you see a dolphin struggling – it's not what you think. And if you make the wrong choice, it could be deadly.

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