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People have been warned to stay away from the beaches (Suriani)

Keep off northern beaches, Peru warns

9th May 2012

Peruvian officials are warning people to steer clear of the country's northern beaches after over 900 dolphin and thousands of bird carcasses contaminate sands

Since February this year, the bodies of many birds, mainly pelicans, and dolphins have been washing up on Peru's northern beaches. Now as an attempt to control the problem, officials are clearing up the mess left behind and trying to solve the mystery.

However, by leaving the carcasses for so long, Peru now fears it may have a dramatic affect on the country's northern beaches.

Last weekend the Peruvian Health Ministry warned people to stay off the beaches amid health fears. Areas affected include the coastal capital Lima and all stretches further north. The peak tourism season is over, however Lima's coast is a popular spot for year-round surfers.

Travellers planning on visiting the areas should keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Investigators believe the bird deaths may be related to rising sea temperatures, as a certain fish which the pelicans depend upon have moved into deeper, cooler waters. Tests conducted on a number of dead birds also suggested they died of malnourishment. However, this theory is yet to be confirmed. A reason for the dolphin deaths has not yet been identified.

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