- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Two more dolphins have been found dead off Beaufort County.

Five dolphins have been found dead in Beaufort County since March17, The Beaufort Gazette (https://bit.ly/PaoTIc) reported.

Wayne McFee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said one was found this weekend on Hilton Head Island and the other at Port Royal.

Employees from the South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network were retrieving the animals Monday.

A bottlenose dolphin washed ashore March 17 on Hilton Head Island and died before marine biologists could reach it. That was an older male, and had a heart condition and probable pneumonia.

The second was spotted March 20 in the May River in Bluffton.

The third was in Fripp Inlet on March 22. It washed out to sea and biologists were unable to recover it, McFee said.

McFee said it is too early to tell if the dolphins had viruses or other diseases.

The cold and changing weather in the last few months could also be related to the deaths, he said.

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Information from: The Beaufort Gazette, https://www.beaufortgazette.com

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