Dolphins living in an area affected by the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are now suffering from lung diseases and other problems that are consistent with oil spills. How heartbreaking is that? A federal government study was conducted looking into the effects of the spill, and the sobering results were released in a paper on Wednesday. The paper has made the strongest connection so far between the BP spill and dolphin deaths, which have spiked in the Gulf in the years since the disaster.
About 30 dolphins were examined and then released in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay in 2011. Almost half had what could be considered a rough prognosis, and 17% were not expected to live. They’re like to also have trouble reproducing. Their health was compared to that of dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, an area that wasn’t damaged by the spill. Lung problems were not found among the dolphins in Sarasota.
According to BP, the study does not make a concrete connection between the spill and the dolphin’s illnesses. They claim that the symptoms the dolphins have could be related to things like DDT and pesticides, which have been found in the Gulf in the past. Cool story, bro. What we do know for sure is that these poor dolphins’ health has been compromised, and it’s incredibly sad. Let’s hope that we as humans can do a little better in the future for the vulnerable animals whose lives we can’t seem to stop getting in the way of. [Wall Street Journal]