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Scientists Looking For Cause Of Dolphin Deaths Along South Carolina Coast

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Bottlenose dolphins swim in the Atlantic in this undated file photo.  (Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Bottlenose dolphins swim in the Atlantic in this undated file photo. (Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

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CHARLSTON, S.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Marine biologists say they are baffled by a recent string of dolphin deaths on the South Carolina coast.

28 have been found so far this year, 3 in just the past week, reports WTOC-TV.

Susan Trogdon was kayaking with a friend when they spotted something floating in the nearby marshes, she realized it was a dolphin carcass.

“It had a scrape about 12 inches long on its side and in one area on the fin, like something had been eating at it. It’s eyes were gone,” she told WTOC-TV.

Since July of last year, 145 dolphins have died along the South Carolina coast.

Scientists say most of them had succumbed to morbillivirus, similar to the virus that causes measles.

“It’s a different strain of disease. It is similar to canine discomfort, so we are taking extra precaution, so if there is a dolphin in need, we ask that you keep your dogs away from it,” said Jessica Conway with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

She said they don’t know what has caused the latest dolphin deaths.

“We can’t say for sure until we have those samples tested, there’s no way to confirm just by looking at the dolphins,” added Conway.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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