Female bottlenose dolphin dies at Dolphinaris Arizona near Scottsdale

Female dolphin dies at Dolphinaris Arizona
Posted at 1:18 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 19:41:05-04

A female bottlenose dolphin died Tuesday at Dolphinaris Arizona, according to facility staffers.

Alia, a 10-year-old bottlenose dolphin, "had displayed some unusual behaviors in the last few days" and "was being monitored," Jen Smith, a spokesperson for the attraction said in a written statement.

She is the second dolphin to die at the facility in less than a year.

In September, Bodie, a male bottlenose dolphin, died at the facility from a "rare muscle disease," the facility said at the time.

An exact cause for Alia's death was not immediately known, Smith said. The facility will conduct a necropsy, an autopsy for animals, to try and determine her cause of death.

She said Alia was with her caretakers and the other dolphins when she died.

"Alia will be greatly missed. She was a lively and loving part of the Dolphinaris family," a statement said.

"Regardless of the care they're providing, all I can say is that two dolphins are dead in less than a year," explains Danielle Riley, creator of the non-profit Plea for the Sea. "Is the quality of care really that great." 

Riley and her organization are now calling for Dolphinaris to release medical records of the remaining six dolphins. There's no word yet if Dolphinaris will agree to that. 

Dolpinaris Arizona opened in October 2016 at the Odysea in the Desert complex near Loop 101 and Via de Ventura. It is part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

At Dolphinaris, people pay for different interactive experiences with the dolphins both in the water and out of the water. They currently have six dolphins at the facility.