Two dolphins dead, six others in critical condition in Palawan

After being stranded in the shallow waters of Baquid Bay in Coron, Palawan, two dolphins died over the weekend due to still-undetermined causes, while six others are "very weak and disoriented," reports GMANews.tv and Inquirer.net.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is working with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the local government to   save the six dolphins in critical condition.

"There is no official report yet on what happened," PCG spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo, told GMANews.TV. "They're still studying what can be done to the six and checking if [they have] any wounds."

Maricar Daquioag, a volunteer marine specialist working with local authorities, told Inquirer.net that they could not determine why the dolphins, identified as Indo Pacific bottlenose dolphins, were stranded. "The pod may have been trapped inside the bay while in pursuit of schools of fish that they prey upon."

In February 2009, about 500 dolphins were stranded in Pilar, Bataan, with three reportedly dead. BFAR Dir. Malcolm Sarmiento Jr. called it an "unusual phenomenon" since the BFAR's highest record of stranded dolphins only reached 20 to 30. "Most strandings are caused by sea quakes or disturbances at sea which affect the pressure underwater, affecting the dolphins' eardrums. The creatures then avoid diving in deeper parts of the ocean and swim to shallow areas," Sarmiento told GMANews.tv.

Later in the day, the dolphins "likely found their way into the open seas," according to Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia, Jr.

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