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Dead sea animals wash up on Peruvian coast

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Authorities were puzzled on Friday (February 22) by an alarming array of dead marine species washed up on northern Peru's Lambayeque coastline. During an inspection carried out by both governmental and non-governmental organizations, a whopping 18 sea turtles, 22 sea lions, eight dolphins, 16 angular roughsharks and 22 marine birds were found dead and in varying states of decomposition. Some of the cadavers were sprayed with a special paint as part of the investigation into what's behind the disturbing discovery. Jaime De La Cruz, an engineer with Peru's Ocean Institute (IMARPE), listed the baffling total of species found and said that a report detailing their cause of death is expected in the coming weeks. As many as eighteen turtles, 22 sea lions, eight dolphins, 16 angular roughsharks and 22 sea birds have washed up, according to De La Cruz. Friday's inspection took place along a large swath of Peruvian coastline, some 125 kilometers (77 miles) long. In the past couple of years, a worrisome number of dead sea creatures have been ending up on Peru's shores. While officials have yet to conclusively pin point a cause, some of the possible explanations include viruses, offshore oil exploration, or poisoned food sources.

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