The Peruvian government said Wednesday that 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, and nearly 900 dolphins have died off the country’s northern coast, possibly due to rising temperatures in Pacific waters.
The country’s northern beaches were earlier this week declared off-limits as scientists scrambled to pin down what was causing such a massive toll, with non-government organizations blaming oil exploration work.
But Peru’s deputy environment minister Gabriel Quijandria, disputed this and said warming waters, which disturbs species’ food supplies, was a possible cause.
He said that although tests conducted on 877 dolphins found dead on the coast had not been completed, contamination from heavy metals or the presence of bacterial infections was not responsible.
It is probable that the phenomenon “will extend to other coastal areas,” Quijandria said, noting that there could be a resulting increase in the numbers of birds and other sea life killed.
The South American nation’s health ministry declared an alert at the weekend, urging the public to stay away from the beaches around Lima and on the northern coast until the cause of death of marine life is known.
One non-government conservation organization, known as ORCA, has blamed the dolphin deaths on oil exploration activities in the area, which it claims produces noises which are having an acoustic impact on the mammals.
A representative from the group, Carlos Yaipen, said Wednesday it had tested 30 dead specimens and found broken ears and damaged organs consistent with the victims suffering “the bends,” also known as decompression sickness.
Weather expert Abraham Levy told AFP on Tuesday that the warming of the Pacific waters due to El Nino could be to blame.
‘He doesn’t care about those kids at all’: Anderson Cooper tears into Trump for pressuring schools to reopen
On CNN Wednesday, Anderson Cooper blasted President Donald Trump's attempts to push schools to reopen without a plan to keep students safe.
"Today the president of the United States did something rare: he expressed a notion that we can all agree on, that kids belong in the classroom," said Cooper. "But then made it quite clear beyond what it means to himself and his re-election, he doesn't actually care about those kids at all. He doesn't care about their health and safety, nor the health of their teachers and parents, and federal guidelines for keeping them safe."
"The president bragged today about getting the CDC to change their guidelines to weaken them, and lo and behold, the CDC, which used to be a world-respected organization, they are going to come up with new guidelines, less difficult ones," said Cooper. "Just think about that. The CDC puts together guidelines based on science to protect kids and teachers, staying six feet apart and masks and having air flow in rooms and washing hands, and because the president thinks it's too difficult, the CDC is going to weaken them."
New attack featuring Trump’s sexual comments about his daughters spurs #CreepyTrump hashtag trend
President Donald Trump's comments about women have been bad enough, but when it comes to his comments about his own daughters, it gets even worse.
As a baby, Trump was already thinking about whether his second daughter, Tiffany, would have breasts like her mother. In appearances on "The View" and "The Wendy Williams Show," Trump talked about how he wishes he could date his first daughter Ivanka and that "sex" is something they have in common.
The bizarre statements add to the strange videos of Trump watching young women dance with his friend Jeffrey Epstein. Ultimately, Epstein was arrested after years of sex with underage children.
‘This spells disaster’: Columnist says GOP is heading for a wipeout in the Senate — and beyond
On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Henry Olsen said the electoral signs are getting grimmer for the GOP by the day — for their prospects of maintaining control of the Senate, but also of their seats further down the ballot.
"Elections in both the House and Senate are increasingly syncing with broader presidential races," wrote Olsen. "In 2016, every Senate race was won by the same party that won that state in the presidential contest. In 2018, House races largely correlated with Trump’s approval rating, with even the most popular GOP incumbents unable to run more than a few points ahead of the president. Polls for Senate races this year show the same trend, with Republican incumbents’ totals closely matched with Trump’s. This spells disaster for the party."