Two more dead dolphins found on Florida panhandle beaches
Tampa Bay Online
29th April 2004
Scientists plan to examine the bodies of two baby bottlenose dolphins found over the past two weeks in the Florida Panhandle, where 104 of the marine mammals died during a two-month period that ended April 14.
The die-off's cause has not yet been determined, but the toxic algae bloom red tide is a prime suspect, scientists say. Most of the deaths occurred in and around St. Joseph's Bay east of here.
One of the new carcasses was found in Callaway Bayou near Panama City and the other washed ashore in Okaloosa County about 30 miles west of Panama City Beach.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries biologist Nancy Evou said Thursday that both carcasses will be examined to determine what killed them and if it was the same thing that caused the earlier die-off.
“Anything can harm them,” Evou said. “Like any animal, (its) first year of life is critical.”
The baby dolphin found in the bayou had cuts and scars on its pectoral and dorsal fins and fluke and a bruise covering most of the bottom of its neck. Evou said she had never before seen such a bruise and was unsure what caused the injury.
She said she had never come across a young dolphin injured so badly but uncertain if the injuries caused the dolphin's death.