A total of 261 bottlenose dolphins were found stranded along the US’s southern coast in the weeks between February 1 and May 31. Most of the animals were already dead when found.
Dolphin stranding events are common enough, but maritime authorities say that such high number in such a short period of time is unusual.
Scientists are postulating that lower than usual levels of salt in the water may have been a factor. Bottlenose dolphins tend to live in areas of high salinity.
A task force has been set up to investigate the reasons behind the dolphin deaths.