LIMA - Peru's government declared a health alert along its northern coastline on Saturday and urged residents and tourists to stay away from long stretches of beach, as it investigates the unexplained deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans.

At least 1,200 birds, mostly pelicans, washed up dead along a stretch of Peru's northern Pacific coastline in recent weeks, health officials said, after an estimated 800 dolphins died in the same area in recent months.

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