Friday, 18 July 2014

Dolphin attacks on Cardigan Bay porpoises baffle experts

14 July 2014 Last updated at 10:06

Dolphin attacks on porpoises in Cardigan Bay have left marine scientists scratching their heads.

Three out of four attacks by bottlenose dolphins noted in recent weeks by volunteers from New Quay-based Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre were fatal.

Science officer Sarah Perry said such attacks are not unknown but it was rare to see it happening in Cardigan Bay.

The centre suggested the attacks may be over competition for food or the result of dolphin mating behaviour.

It said scientists have always known that dolphins attack porpoises but the frequency of recent attacks is a real puzzle.

In May, volunteers at the centre (CBMWC) in Ceredigion rescued a porpoise that stranded on the beach after being chased by dolphins.

Last month researchers saw three dolphins killing a porpoise, with another similar incident a week later.

Then last week three dolphins spent 20 minutes attacking a porpoise close to the centre's research vessel Anna Lloyd.

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