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    BP Oil Spill Blamed for Dolphin Miscarriages and Health Problems

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    A variety of health problems faced by animals in the Gulf of Mexico are being blamed on the BP oil spill that leaked 4 point 9 million barrels of oil into the ocean when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded during April of 2010. Researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration captured and studied 32 dolphins from Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana, and found that half of them are sick or dying.

    A variety of health problems faced by animals in the Gulf of Mexico are being blamed on the BP oil spill when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded during April of 2010. Estimates vary from source to source but approximately 200 million gallons of oil are believed to have ended up in the Gulf.

    Researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration captured and studied 32 dolphins from Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana, and found that half of them are sick or dying.

    Many of the dolphins from the Gulf Coast were missing teeth, suffering from pneumonia, lung or liver disease, and one was carrying a dead fetus.

    Lori Schwake, the leader of the study said: "I've never seen such a high prevalence of very sick animals, and with unusual conditions such as the adrenal hormone abnormalities.”

    The Gulf coast dolphins were compared to a group of bottlenose dolphins from Sarasota Bay in Florida, which hadn’t been affected by the oil spill, and researchers found the Florida dolphins were much healthier.

    Representatives from BP have said that other contaminants are found in the Gulf Coast water that might be affecting the dolphins’ health, and aren’t related to the oil spill and further criticized the comparison to a group of dolphins that are “genetically different”.