Activists gather to mourn the death of Bodie, a bottlenose at Dolphinaris

Posted at 10:05 PM, Oct 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-29 17:51:40-04

Animal activists gathered at an intersection in Scottsdale Saturday night to honor the life of a dolphin who died at the Dolphinaris attraction last month.

Members representing several advocacy groups, including Dolphin Free Arizona, wanted to honor the life and legacy of Bodie, a male bottlenose dolphin who officials announced a few days before had died in September.

All those who attended the candlelight vigil are against having dolphins in captivity, especially in the dry climate of the desert.

"[Bodie's death] was a very sad moment for us because we were all fighting for his release to a seaside sanctuary," said Robert Franklin, an organizer with Dolphin Free Arizona.

Animal lover Tami Link showed up after hearing about the vigil on social media, saying she was there to acknowledge the loss of a living being.

"Rest in peace Bodie. I'm very sad. Sad that we have as a humanity failed animals that are dependent on us to speak up for them," said Link.

Nine-year-old animal activist Rhyan Antonowicz also stood there with a candle, a flower and a poster, remembering Bodie.

"RIP Bodie. Swim free sweet boy. I'm sorry we couldn't save you," said the young child.

A spokesperson for Dolphinaris said Bodie suffered from a rare muscle disease and was under constant veterinary care.

Some animal advocates questioned why the facility waited more than a month to announce the dolphin's death. Bodie died on the morning of September 23rd, officials said.

In response, Dolphinaris said there was no intention to withhold information, rather administrators were waiting for the results of a full necropsy that would detail information about Bodie's death before making his death public.

The official statement sent to us by Dolphinaris goes on to say:

The veterinary team consulted with experts throughout the United States and Europe in hopes of finding a cure. Unfortunately, no solution was found. 

Upon his passing, a full necropsy was performed in accordance with our corporate veterinary practice and USDA regulations. Preliminary necropsy results confirmed that there were no additional actions Dolphinaris could have taken to prevent this outcome.