FIVE dolphins were found on the Almerian coast after being beached in the last month.
The animals were discovered on beaches near Nijar, El Ejido, Roquestas de Mar, Almeria and Cabo de Gata. Sea creatures can become stranded when they lose the ability to swim.
The cause of the dolphins being washed up was not natural in most cases, according to an animal conservation group.
Equinac, the group authorised to rescue and recover marine wildlife in Almeria, told Spanish media sea pollution was the likely cause in these cases.
“Almost always when it is possible to take samples from animals, a weakening of the immune system caused by high levels of metal in their bodies is detected,” the group said.
Equinac added it was important for people to act properly if they found a beached animal. The creatures should not be put back in the sea because if they are on the beach it is usually because they can no longer swim, the group said.
“When a dolphin appears on a beach everyone wants to take pictures with them. We have had scenarios in which we have been surrounded by hundreds of people taking pictures and children who want to touch them.
“They are so fragile that they can stop breathing and die of stress. We must be allowed to work as quietly as possible,” Equinac said.
The news of the beached dolphins comes as the conservation group reportedly attended the stranding of around 80 sea animals on Almeria’s coast last year. Dolphins and turtles were among those found.
More than 100 dolphins and whales were beached on the province’s coastline between 2013 and 2015 as well as 55 sea turtles, according to figures.