The National Marine Fisheries Service calls the situation an “unusual mortality event.” Officials say the number of confirmed dead has reached 38.
The Fisheries Service is overseeing testing of the carcasses at a lab in St. Petersburg.
The dolphin deaths were first noticed early last week, when over a dozen were found dead off Cape San Blas in Gulf County. At least one expert says symptoms resemble the effects of red tide, while another says the cause of death “appeared to be somewhat catastrophic.” Some test results could be returned as early as Wednesday.
At least two dozen of the dead mammals have been found at Cape San Blas while over a dozen more have been found at various locations from the Cape westward to south Walton County.