Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Dolphins found on Cornish beach

Dead dolphin on Caerhays beach: Pic Paul Jay
The dolphins may have been washed ashore during recent stormy weather

Two dead dolphins have been washed ashore on a Cornish beach.

The cetaceans were discovered on Sunday by members of the public walking along Caerhays beach near St Austell.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings network said it was unusual for two animals to wash ashore at the same place at the same time.

Spokeswoman Jan Loveridge said without post-mortem tests it was impossible to say how the creatures, thought to be common dolphins, had died.

"Sadly the carcasses were not considered fresh enough to carry out post-mortem tests," she told BBC News.

"It's difficult to say how or why they died, but we would not normally expect two dolphins to wash ashore together.

"They may have been brought ashore by the stormy weather, but healthy animals don't drown, so it's possible they may have been by-caught."

By-catch is where unwanted marine creatures are caught in the nets of fishing boats.

Ms Loveridge has asked anyone who finds stranded marine creatures to contact the marine strandings network.

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