Thirty-three dead dolphins were found on a beach in La Paz, Baja California Sur, on Thursday, environmental authorities reported.
The common dolphins – 19 males, 11 females and three of indeterminate sex – were found on Playa Calfin, a beach north of the city of La Paz on the Gulf of California coast.
The federal environmental protection agency Profepa said in a statement that its specialists and inspectors along with personnel from a range of other groups traveled to the beach in response to a report of a massive beaching event.
Some of the dolphins were in an advanced state of decomposition, Profepa said, suggesting that they died far from the coast and subsequently washed up on the beach.
En Playas de La Paz BCS. Aparecen cuando menos 10 delfines 🐬 muertos en la orilla de #PlayaCalifin, la que se encuentra 30 km aprox de esta ciudad, entre La Paz y San Juan de la Costa Se dio a conocer por parte de personas que se encontraban en el lugar @SEMARNAT_mx @forceps21 pic.twitter.com/hRuQQWeV28
— Carlos Alfredo Godinez León (@CarlosA94203364) May 26, 2022
“Upon review of the specimens no wounds, blows or … [human-caused] damage was detected,” the agency said.
It said that samples of the dolphins’ fat, skin, stomach content, livers, kidneys, adrenal glands, lungs, hearts, urine and feces were collected to aid studies to determine the cause of death.
The bodies of two juvenile dolphins will be subjected to autopsies while the other 31 were buried in the area where they were found, Profepa said.
“It should be highlighted that there has been no information of the presence of any algal bloom (red tide), spills or contamination. Profepa will continue carrying out investigations to determine the cause of death of the specimens,” the agency said.
Fifty-nine dolphins beached themselves on another La Paz beach four years ago, 38 of which were rescued. Experts said at the time that bite marks found on the common dolphins indicated they had been attacked by bottlenose dolphins.