Dolphins keep mysteriously dying at The Mirage casino in Las Vegas. Up until recently, everything had seemed fine - until suddenly, K2, a friendly 11-year-old Bottlenose Dolphin who was born at the resort, died on September 24. Spectators are stunned, as this is the 3rd dolphin death in the past 6 months. Here's what we know so far.
Maverick, who was 19, died just a few weeks earlier in September. And Bella, who was 13, passed away in April. All 3 dolphins had been experiencing illness beforehand. K2 was showing symptoms a month before his death. He refused to eat his fish, and his bloodwork tests showed his liver enzymes were high when his care team took samples. The team administered treatment for a respiratory-related illness. Similarly, before his death, Maverick was treated for a lung infection. Meanwhile, Bella was in the process of treatment for gastroenteritis.
Since K2’s death, The Mirage has closed its Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Typically, guests can book a hands-on experience with the dolphins for $450. The experience includes participating in dolphin training sessions, having an in-water interaction with the mammals, getting behind-the-scenes access to the habitat, and souvenir photos to keep. The Mirage’s executive director of animal care, Dave Blasko, told National Geographic, “We are in the process of working with the National Marine Mammal Foundation to conduct a complete review and assessment of all aspects of our dolphin-care program.” Unfortunately, it appears the resort has been criticized for years for its dolphin exhibit. Since its opening in 1990, there have been 14 dolphin deaths recorded by the company, while activists count 16. Why do these deaths keep happening?
That is precisely the question that everyone is trying to answer at the moment. Hopefully, experts on the case will have answers as to what is happening, and no more dolphins will be in danger. For the time being, 7 dolphins are still living at the exhibit. Stay tuned as more unfolds about the mysterious bad luck at The Mirage.