connectVideoFourth bottlenose dolphin, dies at Dolphinaris Arizona in less than two years
A bottlenose dolphin, died at a marine habitat in Arizona, making it the fourth mammal to die in the factory in less than two years.
The four remaining dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona were transported late Tuesday night to a shrine on the U.S. virgin islands, according to Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas.
Dolphinaris Arizona, located on the Salt River reservation near Scottsdale, confirmed the move and said it would reopen the site “as a new concept”, which would not involve dolphins, a report said. The news comes after a fourth dolphin, Kai, died Jan. 31.
The cargo was seen transferred on a plane, a train station reported. The dolphins were loaded on a private jet, with their trainers, and veterinary staff who accompany them.
CHARACTER REMOVED FROM DOLPHINARIS ARIZONA AFTER 4TH DOLPHIN DIES, POSSIBLY FROM CONTACT WITH PEOPLE
The dolphins’ new home is a natural ocean water to the sanctuary, which is Coral World Ocean Park, the new St. Thomas Sea Sanctuary in the Water Bay, the Arizona Republic reported.
“The dolphins life in our newly developed St. Thomas Sea Sanctuary, a first-of-its-kind, 69,000-square-foot ocean habitat introduces the dolphins to a natural environment, with the added advantage of being cared for by licensed veterinarians and dolphin experts who are dedicated to their health and well-being,” Lee Kellar, Coral World Ocean Park general curator, said in the statement obtained by the paper.
The move follows the temporary closure of the establishment on Feb. 8 so that a panel of experts could re-evaluate “the design, environmental factors, and all aspects of animal welfare in the factory,” says the Republic.
Although multiple sources told FOX 10 Phoenix that the voluntary closure was now permanently is a Dolphinaris spokesman would not confirm that to be the case.
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Half of the facility is eight dolphins killed since the opening in 2016, the Republic reported.
Kai’s death came a month after the Khloe, a 11-year-old bottlenose dolphin, died Dec. 31 after a six-year battle with a chronic disease, FOX 10 reported.
Last September, 7-year-old Bodie has died of a rare muscle disease, and 10-year-old died last May of a bacterial infection that spread quickly, the station reported.
The four remaining dolphins spend time in the sanctuary of the special areas while they adjust to their new home, the station reported, citing a statement from Coral World Ocean Park.
They will then spend several months building strong relationships with other dolphins in the factory before they are presented to the public, ” the statement said.
Dolphin Quest in Hawaii is the owner of two of the dolphins, Liko and Noelani. Dolpinaris Arizona issued a statement late Wednesday saying that a joint decision was made with Dolphin Quest to keep all four dolphins, including Sonny and Ping, together.
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“We felt it was necessary to remove the animals from what appeared to be an infected area on the Arizona facility,” Dr. Rae Stone, a Dolphin Quest co-founder, said in a statement obtained by the paper. “Just as the natural ocean water sanctuaries, Dolphin Quest-a pioneer in more than three decades ago, in Hawaii, Coral World of the marine habitat promises to ensure a healthy and enriching environment where our dolphins will inspire the next generations of ocean stewards.”
The aquatic facility when it was opened, the man to communicate and to swim with the dolphins.
“They are under chronic stress of life in the tanks, and dealing with people who are in the tanks and pet them,” Lori Marino, founder of the Whale Sanctuary Project, told the Republic. “When people are in the water, put their hand on the animal, you have the possibility of a transmission of the disease.”