BRIGANTINE, N.J. (AP) — A man who once trained dolphins to perform for crowds is now part of a broad scientific investigation into what is killing the highly intelligent animals off the East Coast.
Bob Schoelkopf (SHELL'-koff) is co-director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J. He used to be known as Capt. Bob when he ran performing dolphin shows in nearby Atlantic City.
After getting to know dolphins and seeing how amazingly smart they can be, he renounced keeping them in captivity. He now devotes his life to rescuing distressed marine mammals.
So far, about 230 dolphins have died off the East Coast, including 63 in New Jersey.
The inquiry continues, but many researchers suspect a naturally occurring virus. The virus was blamed for the last major dolphin die-off, in 1987.