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SeaWorld: 3 Dolphin Deaths in 3 Weeks: What Can Be Done?

SeaWorld: 3 Dolphin Deaths in 3 Weeks: What Can Be Done?

Not too many people have heard about the three dolphins who died at SeaWorld Discovery Cove in less than three weeks time. Although thereís a big fuss when a dolphin is born at SeaWorld, the theme park tends to be pretty tight-lipped when a dolphin dies. But a whistleblower told PETA that Dixie, a dolphin used in Discovery Coveís “swim with the dolphins” attraction, gave birth to a stillborn infant on July 9. The whistleblower alleges that, even though Discovery Cove knew that the birth was imminent, a veterinarian was not summoned during or after the birth.

A similar incident reportedly occurred in June. A pregnant dolphin named† Scarlet, who was also used in the Discovery Cove swim-with program, went into labor on approximately June 15 or 16, but never gave birth. She expelled only blood. A veterinarian was present this time, but he could not get his arm inside Scarlet’s womb to pull the baby out. After her calf apparently died in utero, Scarlet was placed in a tank in the back of the park. She died on June 21. A necropsy report revealed that Scarletís uterus had ruptured, releasing the calf into her body cavity.

PETA has asked the USDA to investigate both incidents to determine if SeaWorld was in any way responsible, and, if so, to charge them accordingly. Theme parks are responsible for providing captive dolphins with adequate prenatal care and pain relief when appropriate. Three dead dolphins in three weeks is an appallingly high mortality rate, and itís unconscionable that a veterinarian allegedly was not present when Dixie gave birth, or to check on her following the birth.

Dolphins die in the wild too, of course, and no one can be held accountable, but if SeaWorld wants to tout its “dolphin nursery” to the public, as it does on its Web site, it should not remain mum when dolphins die.

If you know anyone who works in the aquarium or zoo industry and suspects negligence or abuse, encourage them to report it at www.ZooInsiders.com, or by calling 1-866-ZOO-TIPS.† And if you know anyone who is planning a trip to Discovery Cove, tell them about the three dolphins who died recently. They won’t find out about them in the park’s promotional materials.†

Regardless if Discovery Cove is held accountable for the dolphin deaths or not, itís one “attraction” I wonít be visiting. I went to SeaWorld when I was younger, thinking I was learning about marine mammals. But I know now that I only saw empty shells of marine mammals.

In their natural habitats, dolphins swim together in family pods and travel up to 100 miles each day. In marine parks, they are kept in tiny tanks that bear little resemblance to their ocean homes. Gimmicky swim-with programs and marine mammal shows benefit theme parks, not marine mammals. To learn more about marine theme parks, including Discovery Cove, and find out what you can do to help marine mammals, see www.DolphinProject.org.

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93 comments

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7:55PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

this is why im not a seaworld fan

10:40AM PST on Dec 2, 2010

this is an outright lie, and a over exaggeration..yes there was an dolphin born stil life, no the prego dolphins do not show in months before birth..a vet is always at hand..and the other dolphin was born..but the mother died at birth..! you have a bad source i am assuming someone who was let go and has a chip on their shoulder.

8:53PM PDT on Oct 1, 2010

Thank you for helping to educate people about the truth of dolphin shows and dolphin captivity swims! Please visit my site, too, and sign my petition to try to help stop the demand for this.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/dolphinswildandfree/
Kathy Moorehead

5:11PM PDT on Jul 5, 2010

This is so sad! Dolphins and other creatures should not be placed at such risk. ITS WRONG!!!!!!!!

10:48AM PDT on Jun 7, 2010

I am in tears reading this. Its sick and vile the poor things its so not fair is it?

6:10AM PST on Feb 25, 2010

It is very sad that people have the belief that we can control, abuse, or force nature to work for us...

5:53AM PDT on Aug 10, 2009

People think of animals is suicide. Are taken. The Free Spirit of suicide. They give God the infinite freedom, and the spirit are very spoiled. God loves the spirit of freedom. To attract them to God. Again and again to choose death and torture. To draw attention to the life of primitive planet will run. God help the information outside the God of life on the planet received. The channel is closed to God primitive planet. In sheep, in the suicide of Yunus takes. If people and their slaughtering Yunus have a free spirit, and attracts the attention of the world or they are God. There are good things in the world do not expect at all. Whether you believe it, you do not believe.

8:03PM PDT on Aug 9, 2009

Japan needs taking in hand, they are out of control. They over fish illegally, slaughter whales in the Southern oceans where the whales are meant to be protected. They kill thousands of dolphins and many other sea dwellers and land dwellers every day. They are one of the biggest importers of illegal hardwoods, and on and on. They break so many international laws each day and no other government anywhere in the world does anything about it. Why, what are they frightened of?

Get all animals out of so called entertainment parks, we have absolutely no right putting them there in the first place. When are humans going to stop thinking of, me, me, me? Boycott all sea parks, and circuses who have any animals at all.

12:55PM PDT on Aug 5, 2009

SeaWorld has ALWAYS been notorious about covering up the deaths of any of their captives. And the casualties have been high ever since they opened their first park. To confine animals that need large territories in the wild is heinous. As a Floridian, I advise anyone on their visits here to avoid ALL our theme parks where animals are the main attraction or even an afterthought (like what Busch Gardens has become - a roller coaster park with token animals).

6:54AM PDT on Aug 4, 2009

This is shocking news. I only know about this now. What's most heart breaking is that 2 dolphins were pregnant and that young could have been the future of the species.

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