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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  December 30, 2004
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Dolphins entertain residents during unusual trip on Sakonnet
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TIVERTON, R.I. (AP) -- A pod of dolphins spotted in the Sakonnet River were last seen heading back south, perhaps toward the open sea, environmental officials said.

The dolphins, which were spotted as far north as Portsmouth�s Common Fence Point on Sunday, appeared to be swimming normally and did not show signs of getting stranded in shallow waters.

April Valliere, a principal marine fisheries biologist with the state Department of Environmental Management, said dolphins are a regular occurrence in December in Rhode Island, but this pod is unusually far north.

�Typically, we have ben seeing them over the last five or 10 years in the lower reaches of the Bay,� she said.

A food supply of mackerel and herring was a likely reason the dolphins journeyed north, Valliere said.

Children and their families gathered for a glimpse of the dolphins, yelping when they spotted one or two jumping out of the water.

On Sunday, �we had a report of nine dolphins,� said Sarah Herzig, assistant stranding coordinator with the Cape Cod Stranding Network. �We ended up going down and it seemed to be that there were 10 to 15.�

She said the stranding network has been on alert after a recent dolphin stranding in Wellfleet, Mass. She said the dolphins in the Sakonnet River did not exhibit signs they were having trouble.

A precise location of the dolphins was not known. On Monday, some families said they spotted dolphins near Riverside Drive, reported The Providence Journal.


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