Friday, June 09, 2006

Parasite, possibly caused dolphin's death

The South Australian Museum is concerned that an increasing number of dolphins are washing up on South Australian beaches with a particular parasite in their bodies.

A post-mortem has revealed that a baby dolphin that washed up at Sellick's Beach last Wednesday had nematodes, a type of parasitic worm, in its lungs.

The museum's curator of mammals, Catherine Kemper, says she has seen a growing number of nematode cases in the last 18 months.

"It's just a bit curious that it's all of a sudden starting in the last 18 months or so," she said.

"We've got records dating back 16 years and this is a definite increase in the numbers of animals that have these nematodes."

The museum has applied for government funding to further investigate the problem.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"