Eight months and two dead dolphins later – it’s business as usual at Dolphinaris, Arizona.
Alia, a 10-year-old female bottlenose dolphin at the Scottsdale aquarium has died. While officials at Dolphinaris have not yet announced the cause of death, she was noted exhibiting “…unusual behaviors in the last few days.”* She is the second dolphin to perish at the facility in eight months.
*Source: ABC 15 Arizona, 5-22-18
Alia was born on December 4, 2007 at SeaWorld Orlando. Six years later she was transferred to Discovery Cove, Orlando, and then a mere one month later, to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in Vallejo, California, where she would remain for three and-a-half years. Then, on August 24, 2016, she would be moved to Dolphinaris, Arizona where she lived until her passing on May 22, 2018.
“The dolphin show only serves to perpetuate our utilitarian perception of nature. It’s a form of bad education.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project
Eight months earlier, on September 23, 2017, another captive dolphin – Bodie – died. He was born on June 7, 2010, at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, transferred to Dolphinaris Arizona on August 24, 2016, and one year later, passed away. The cause of death was reported as a “rare muscle disorder.” Inside sources rumored that the dolphin exhibited symptoms of “valley fever”, a fungal infection related to dust or soil-borne fungus.
Advocates Against Dolphin Captivity in Arizona called out the aquarium for not announcing the dolphin’s death. In fact, the death was not publicly acknowledged by Dolphinaris until October 27, after an anonymous insider broke the news online.
Last year Dolphin Project sponsored a billboard awareness campaign against captivity and Dolphinaris. Alia and Bodie were young dolphins with much life left to live, yet the captivity issue is one of quality, not quantity. Captive dolphins have no quality to their lives, and no facility can ever hope to replicate their wild worlds.
Currently, six dolphins remain captive in Dolphinaris’s tanks, performing day after day for paying guests. Please help us educate – captivity is no place for dolphins!
What’s Wrong with Dolphins in the Desert?
- Even though these dolphins were born in captivity, they have been sold, shipped, and treated as objects their entire lives.
- Dolphins are socially complex creatures who live in family units. They speak different dialogues, and different families often cannot communicate with each other. The Arizona dolphins come from different families.
- Forcing dolphins to interact with human guests places extraordinary stress on captive dolphins. Many are on antidepressants, ulcer medication, and exhibit stress behaviors such as chewing on their tank walls or gates or attacking one another.
- Many captive dolphins die prematurely due to illness or stress-related disorders.
- Others develop sunburns because they cannot dive below the surface in their tanks, or have persistent open wounds and abrasions as a result of the encounters.
- All the behaviors the dolphins perform are unnatural; they are trained into submission through food deprivation techniques, kept hungry so they will perform on demand for the paying public.
Featured image: Shared by Laurice Dee