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Virus killing bottlenose dolphins may be jumping species, report says

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The bottlenose dolphins are migrating south. So officials in New Jersey thought that they had seen the last of the strandings - animals washing onto beaches, dead or dying - in what has become the largest Atlantic Coast die-off of dolphins in memory.

But on Monday, the body of another dolphin, this one badly decomposed, washed ashore on a Delaware Bay beach, taking the state's total of stranded dolphins to 135 since July 1.

Overall, more than 800 dolphins have stranded along the coast, although officials fear far more have died offshore and never been discovered.

And now, officials have a new worry: The virus causing the dolphins' deaths may be jumping species.

Among five other species tested, the virus has been detected in three humpback whales and two pygmy sperm whales that stranded in Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.
 
 

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