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 there’s 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 Cove’s “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 Scarlet’s 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 it’s 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, 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, it’s one “attraction” I won’t 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



W. C
W. C4 months ago


William C
William C4 months ago

Thank you for caring.

Linda H.
Linda H.5 years ago

this is why im not a seaworld fan

Rachel O.
Rachel O.7 years ago

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.

Kathy Moorehead
Kathy Moorehead7 years ago

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.
Kathy Moorehead

Shraddha Jadhav
Shraddha J7 years ago

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

Cindy C.
Cindy C7 years ago

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

Alicia V.
Alicia V.7 years ago

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

suheyla c.
Süheyla C8 years ago

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.

Janis Totham-Davies

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.