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16 dolphins wash ashore on Outer Banks in a week

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COROLLA, N.C. — At least 16 dolphins have washed up on the North Carolina Outer Banks on the shores from Corolla to Avon in the last week.

The Virginian-Pilot reported scientists connected to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network are collecting the corpses for testing.

Karen Clark of the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education said dead bottlenose dolphins began showing up in North Carolina about Aug. 14.

Clark said there are usually two or three stranded dolphins found on the Outer Banks in August.

“We’re emotionally and physically preparing ourselves for more,” Clark said, according to the Pilot.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an Unusual Mortality Event on Aug. 8 after more than 100 dead bottlenose dolphins washed ashore in Virginia.

The count in Virginia surpassed 130 as of Sunday. So far this summer, there have been about 230 dolphin deaths along the East Coast

Early tests indicate morbillivirus infection, the cause of more than 740 dolphin deaths along the East Coast in 1987.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot