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Dead dolphins wash up on beaches in southern France

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Photo: Screenshot/TF1
13:57 CEST+02:00
Local authorities in Provence have opened an enquiry into the "unusual phenomenon" of a dozen dead dolphins washing up on French beaches.
It's not exactly what you expect to see when strolling the French coastline.
But for the past three weeks the marine mammals have been found stranded between the îles d'Hyères and Cap Sicié on France's south coast.
This "unusual phenomenon" has led the Mediterranean marine authorities to ask for an enquiry into the strange occurrence. 
"A dozen stranded dolphins were found on the beaches of the southern provencal Var department over the past three weeks," marine authorities said.
"In light of the first observations made on the state of their injuries, the centre has asked for an enquiry into the cause behind the deaths."
Surveillance has also been increased in the affected zone. 
But while some find the situation unusual, others have put it down to chance. 
"This doesn't mark an increase in deaths. On average, 80 marine mammals are found dead on the shores of the French Mediterranean coast, between Perpignan and Menton, as well as Corsica, every year," marine expert Murielle Oriol told French local Var Matin
The specialist confirmed that "a large number of them die after colliding with large ships", adding that "pollution and and rubbish" also pose a threat. 
"Last year, a large dolphin was found off the coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. We discovered some plastic in its stomach," she said.
The marine authorities warn that if a member of the public comes across a stranded marine animal, to avoid direct contact (due to health risks), to take photos and note its exact location before contacting the French body responsible for the mammals when they wash up on the coast (Reseau National d'echouage). 
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