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Records detail new information in death of 3rd dolphin at Dolphinaris

Posted at 4:34 PM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-16 18:32:59-04

SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMM., AZ — While there are no dolphins remaining at the Dolphinaris facility in the Valley, just-released records provide new details in the case of one of the dolphins who died in recent months.

Khloe, a bottlenose dolphin, died in December. She was the 3rd of four dolphins to die at Dolphinaris in less than two years.

In February, a Dolphinaris spokesperson told ABC15 preliminary necropsy results provided no definitive cause of death, but noted Khloe came to the facility with a pre-existing, chronic health condition caused by a parasite called Sarcocystis.

ABC15 obtained newly-released documents from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as it relates to Khloe. According to emails released publicly, in January, a woman who had identified herself as the staff veterinarian at Dolphinaris emailed NOAA about Khloe's death, noted her treatment for Sarcocystis and wrote that Khloe "had been starting to demonstrate progressive neurological signs which we believe led to her death."

Additional documents obtained from NOAA by ABC15 shed more light on Khloe's history. According to a "Marine Mammal Data Sheet," Khloe was born on April 8, 2008. In 2013, Khloe was transported from SeaWorld of Florida to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, according to the document. In 2016, records show Khloe was moved from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to Dolphinaris Arizona, where she later died.

The four remaining dolphins were recently sent to another facility outside of Arizona. Dolphinaris is expected to be replaced with a new concept that does not have live animals.