Eight dolphins die after washing onto New Jersey beach

Eight dolphins are dead after becoming stranded on a New Jersey beach, according to animal welfare officials.

The pod of so-called “common dolphins” came ashore at Sea Isle City, in the southern part of the state, on Tuesday morning.

Two dolphins died on the beach and the six remaining dolphins were later humanely euthanized, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center posted on Facebook.

The animals’ conditions had rapidly deteriorating after attempts to save them and returning them to the ocean would have prolonged their inevitable death, officials said.

All eight dolphins have been transported to the New Jersey State Lab for immediate necropsies.

“We share in the public’s sorrow for these beautiful animals, and hope that the necropsies will help us understand the reason for their stranding,” the center wrote.

The dolphin deaths are the latest in a wave of unexplained dolphin and whale strandings at beaches in New Jersey and New York.

Some experts have pointed to the rise in ocean temperatures being driven by the climate crisis as a potential cause. Others have suggested that new sonar testing for the development of offshore wind farms could be having an impact on the marine mammals.