Horror as dead dolphins wash up on Spain’s Costa del Sol beaches – ‘weeks of madness’

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Nearly a dozen dolphins have washed up on the beaches of the Costa del Sol in the space of just four weeks. The area is a popular destination in Spain for tourists.

Environmentalists have said they fear the protected animals have been hit by a mystery virus.

About six years ago, a virus caused havoc for dolphins around the Mediterranean coast.

The dolphins could also have been impacted by sonar rays from the increased number of war ships due to the Ukraine crisis.

Naval military action in the face of the incident could have impacted the dolphins who can be confused by sonar.

It could have caused them to be beached by losing track of their routes due to the sonar rays.

Other experts have said the deaths could have been caused by strong storms in the region.

As dolphins need to raise their head from the water to breathe, sick or injured animals may have been unable to do so due to the strong waves.

Many seek the shore to breathe and end up dying as they are unable to get back out to sea from the beach.

So far, 11 dolphins have been found dead in the region on beaches in Estepona, Malaga, Torremolinos, Marbella and Nerja.

Sadly, one of the dolphins was a female who was seven months pregnant when she was found.

In normal circumstances, a healthy dolphin will usually live for about 15 years.

The latest corpse was found on the beach of La Araña and had no obvious signs of injury or disease.

The Centre for the Recovery of Endangered Marine Species (Crema) hopes that an autopsy will reveal the cause of death.

Tourists and local residents are advised to alert the authorities if they find a dead dolphin in Spain.

Trail Andalucia posted a picture of a dead dolphin and said: “What is happening in the area?”

Earlier this month, a 14 metre whale was found washed up on a Costa del Sol beach.

The director of Crema, José Luis Mons, said: “Sometimes there are peaks like this.

“A few years ago six dead pilot whales were washed up between December and January, and in situations like this we have to raise the alarm.

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“There are spells when there are two weeks of madness and others when none appear at all.”

He said that the ingestion of plastics, oil or chemical spills could have been responsible for the animals’ deaths.

Mons added: “Plastic materials frequently affect turtles and whales in particular, although not so much dolphins, which are more selective in their feeding.”

Dolphin and whale watching is usually a popular activity in the Costa del Sol region where the animals are a protected species.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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