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Apr 19, 2012 9:09 PM by Jacqui Heinrich

Peru investigates deaths of hundreds of dolphins

LIMA, Peru (AP) - Scientists and Peruvian officials are investigating a mass die-off of hundreds of dolphins along the South American country's coast.

Officials have been studying possible factors in the dolphins' deaths including a virus or seismic oil exploration that is being carried out off northern Peru.

Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria says officials have counted 877 dolphin carcasses recently along the coast in the regions of Piura and Lambayeque.

He says an analysis of the dolphins' internal organs hasn't found the sort of symptoms that experts have seen in other cases when dolphins have been affected by seismic work.

He said in the radio interview on Thursday that experts are analyzing whether the animals could have succumbed to a virus.

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