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Dolphinaris: Necropsy results gave no clear indication on what caused third dolphin’s death

KNXV Dolphinaris Aerial View
Posted at 11:31 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 20:01:19-05

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Dolphinaris announced Friday that preliminary necropsy results gave no indication on what caused the death of Khloe, the third of four dolphins that died in the company’s care since 2017.

  • Bodie: The male bottlenose dolphin died on Sept. 23, 2017, from a "rare muscle disease," the facility said.
  • Alia: The female bottlenose dolphin died on May 22, 2017, from an "acute bacterial infection" that "spread quickly through her body," the facility said.
  • Khloe: The female bottlenose dolphin died on Dec. 31, 2018. "Khloe came to Dolphinaris with a pre-existing chronic health condition caused by a parasite called Sarcocystis, which weakens an animal’s immune system. While we wanted the necropsy to tell us more, sometimes tests are not definitive. In fact, it is common that tests never pinpoint exactly what caused an animal’s passing, particularly one like Khloe who had lived with a health condition for six years," the facility said.
  • Kai: The male bottlenose dolphin was euthanized on Jan. 31, 2019, after he showed signs of "difficulty swimming, eating and breathing" and his health continued to decline, the facility said. A necropsy (an animal autopsy) is pending and the results have not been released.

TIMELINE: See timeline of events surrounding 4 dolphin deaths

The most recent death was reported when Dolphinaris announced that 22-year-old bottlenose dolphin Kai had to be euthanized on January 31.

The facility has since temporarily closed their doors, and it's unclear what the future of the location will look like. As of Friday, the facility says they're still waiting to transfer some of the remaining dolphins out of the location.

"It will happen some time in the next month. We do not announce when exactly it will be, for the safety of the dolphins," the statement read. "It requires a lot of coordination and care on both ends and needs to be done in a calm environment with no distractions (such as onlookers and helicopters). We ask the media to respect this. We will let you know once they have arrived safely in their new home."

A representative for the company says employees are "not permitted to do interviews" because of threats some animal caregivers have received from activists.