Another dolphin at Mirage’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat has died, making it the 4th dolphin to die there in less than a year. Duchess, one of the five original dolphins that were being held captive at the Mirage and died at the age of 48.
“With a heavy heart, I share that Duchess, our matriarch bottlenose dolphin and beloved member of The Mirage Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat family, has passed away. Duchess was 48 years old, one of 5 original dolphins that opened the Habitat in 1990,” a statement from Mirage President Joe Lupo said.
In April 2022, Bella, a 13-year-old dolphin, who was Duchess’ granddaughter, died after going through treatment for gastroenteritis. In September 2020, 19-year-old Maverick died after treatment for a lung infection, and just weeks after that, 11-year-old K2 died while receiving treatment for a respiratory illness.
Source: 8 News NOW Las Vegas/YouTube
It’s clear that there is something wrong here and that these dolphins are not meant to be in captivity. These prisoners for profit are being used to make money, and their health is suffering as a consequence, but these companies don’t seem to care as long as they keep profiting off of them. The exhibit still has seven bottlenose dolphins, four leopards, two lions, eight tigers, one two-toed sloth, one umbrella cockatoo, and approximately 350 aquarium fish.
The Mirage has a long history of deaths of their animals. K2 was the 16th dolphin to die at the facility in its 31 years in operation, according to Cetabase. Animal welfare advocates are calling for the dolphins and animals to be sent to sanctuaries.
Sadly, these animals are often taken from the wild and kept in captivity for entertainment, and they suffer immensely. In the wild, these highly social creatures stay close to and travel with their pods. In captivity, they are forced into man-made “pods.” This leads to aggression amongst tank members. This only adds to the depression and physical pain they experience from being trapped in pools far too small for creatures who would swim thousands of miles a day in the wild. In captivity, cetaceans become so depressed they self-mutilate and attempt suicide by trying to beach themselves. In terms of physical health, they don’t get anywhere near enough exercise, and they do not reach the life expectancy they would in the ocean, dying at much higher rates and younger ages.
Though parks such as the famous SeaWorld try to convince the public that their cetaceans are content with their “spacious aquariums, restaurant-quality fish, exercise, quality veterinary care, and enrichment,” ultimately, profit is the priority. Don’t believe this? Read these 10 Reasons Why Whales and Dolphins Do NOT Belong in Tanks.
Sign this petition demanding that the U.S. Congress end marine mammal captivity in the United States. And make sure to sign your local representatives asking them to introduce legislation that fights against the captivity and exploitation of whales and dolphins.
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