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Death of a Dolphin Sparks Anger in the Gulf

Capt Lori DeAngelis runs a boating business called Dolphin Queen Cruises, which ferries tourists in Orange Beach, AL, to see pods of dolphins at play in the Gulf. Capt Lori reveres dolphins. In fact, she used to be licensed to handle the federally protected mammals.

“They are like kin to us,” she says.

The BP oil disaster put a huge dent in Capt Lori’s dolphin-watching business, but now it’s personal. Recently she watched over a young adult male dolphin that had washed up on the sandy shores of Orange Beach, lying motionless with its mouth agape.

…Now at least 87 bottle-nosed dolphins, mostly very young or calves, have been found near the shores of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana over the past two months, about 15 times the normal amount. The number of dead mammals found this year almost equals the total number collected in 2010. Five more were added to the list the day this one was found. The federal government has declared this unprecedented die-off an “unusual mortality event,” the equivalent of a governor declaring a state of emergency following a natural disaster. This means federal money will be thrown at the difficult job of figuring out exactly what is causing this tragedy. For the full story click here.

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