Indonesia: Mass Dolphin Die-Off Puzzles Banten Officials

Fidelis E. Satriastanti Jakarta Globe 28 Sep 11;

Sixteen dolphins have died in the waters off of Ujung Kulon, Banten, after being stranded this afternoon, officials said.

“The 16 dolphins were stranded in Ujung Jaya village at about 2 p.m.,” said the head of Ujung Kulon National Park, Agus Priambudi. “Seven others returned to the sea.”

Officials haven’t been able to pinpoint why the dolphins were stranded. “Maybe because of strong northern currents or it can also be because of the hot weather,” he said.

This is the first such case of mass dolphin deaths in the country.

Agus said they would keep patrolling the waters until midnight to ensure the seven others remained safe.