[MARMAM] Mass stranding leaves dolphins dying in Zanzibar (29 April 2006)

Omar A. Amir, omar at ims.udsm.ac.tz
Tue May 2 02:02:47 PDT 2006

Dear all,

Dozens of dolphins beached off the coast of Florida are being treated for
dehydration and stress, officials said on Friday, but several of the
animals have already died.

Hundreds of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) strayed into
shallow waters off the northwest coast of Zanzibar island on Thursday
afternoon. About 600 of the animals then became stranded in water just few
centimetres deep and died later. It was not immediately clear what caused
these dolphins to strand. When I got the news next morning, I went to the
site and collect some samples from the dead dolphins. I dissected about 65
dolphins and all had empty stomachs and some gastrointestinal worms.
Normally this species inhabit deep waters around Zanzibar. I checked the
body of the animals and they were looking healthy.

I would very much appreciate if you share some views on the possible cause
of this mass stranding.



Omar A. Amir, M.Sc.
Marine Mammal Research and Education Group,
Institute of Marine Sciences,
P. O. Box 668,
Zanzibar - Tanzania

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