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Possible Link Probed Over Dolphin & Seal Die-Offs

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One of several rescued common dolphins was placed in a heated rescue trailer. (Photo by David G. Curran)

One of several rescued common dolphins was placed in a heated rescue trailer. (Photo by David G. Curran)

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BOSTON (AP) — Dozens of dolphins stranded on Cape Cod during the past few weeks have died in New England’s second mass of marine mammal deaths in three months.

Since mid-January, 98 short-beaked common dolphins have stranded themselves on a 25-mile stretch of Cape Cod and 77 have died. Scientists are trying to figure out why.

They’re also researching whether there’s any link to a die-off this fall of 162 harbor seals. They’re carcasses were found between northern Massachusetts and Maine.

Scientists have determined the seal deaths were linked to an influenza virus similar to one found in birds. It had never been seen before in seals.

They say the initial indications are there’s no connection between the dolphin and seal deaths, but it’s too early to definitively rule it out.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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