More than one hundred dead dolphins have been found in the washed up on the state's beaches since July, and the investigation as to why has been slowed by the government shutdown.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center brings the dead dolphins to researchers at the Department of Agriculture's state lab in Mercer County. There they are working to discover more about why the animals are dying off, but the government shutdown has brought part of the investigation to a standstill. Federal authorities have had to stop analyzing and disseminating data sent from state labs all along the Atlantic Coast.
Federal wildlife authorities have determined Morbillivirus, a form of measles, is likely causing the deaths. The same illness was blamed for a similar die–off in the late '80's.
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