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Natural Toxin Killing Dolphins, Sea Lions In Southern California

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Tons of fish were found dead in Redondo Beach Harbor.(credit: CBS)

Tons of fish were found dead in Redondo Beach Harbor.(credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marine animal experts say dolphins and sea lions that have died along the Southern California coast in recent weeks may be victims of a deadly neurotoxin produced by a seasonal algae bloom.

The same poison was found in samples from millions of fish that suffocated in a Redondo Beach harbor last month, and researchers hope to determine if it is present in samples from a similar but smaller fish die-off Monday in Ventura Harbor.

Experts don’t believe the fish died from the toxin but some marine mammals have become its victims.

Pacific Mammal Center animal care supervisor Kirsten Sedlick says that in the past few days, three sea lions and three dolphins that beached themselves in Orange County died or were destroyed because they were exposed to the incurable poison.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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