30.4.06

400 Dead Dolphins Found Off African Coast

Hundreds of dead dolphins washed up Friday along the shore of a popular tourist destination on Zanzibar's northern coast, and scientists ruled out poisoning.

It was not immediately clear what killed the 400 dolphins, whose carcasses were strewn along a 2 1/2-mile stretch of Nungwi, said Narriman Jidawi, a marine biologist at the Institute of Marine Science in Zanzibar.

But the bottleneck dolphins, which live in deep offshore waters, had empty stomachs, meaning that they could have been disoriented and were swimming for some time to reorient themselves. They did not starve to death and were not poisoned, Jidawi said.

In the United States, experts were investigating the possibility that sonar from U.S. submarines could have been responsible for a similar incident in Marathon, Fla., where 68 deep-water dolphins stranded themselves in March 2005.

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