Another dolphin dies at Arizona aquatic facility
PHOENIX (AP) — A fourth dolphin has died at a Phoenix-area aquatic facility.
A statement from Dolphinaris Arizona in Scottsdale says 22-year-old Kai died Thursday after his condition began deteriorating and he had difficulty swimming, eating and breathing.
Kai’s death marks the fourth death at the facility since it opened in October 2016, and it comes just a month after Khloe, an 11-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, died after a chronic illness.
Dolphinaris General Manager Christian Schaeffer said Kai had shown signs of declining health two weeks ago and was treated.
Schaeffer says the facility “will be taking proactive measures” to ensure its dolphins’ “well-being and high quality of life.”
Dolphinaris has hired an external pathologist to conduct a necropsy (animal autopsy) to determine the cause of Kai’s death.
Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman of the animal rights group PETA urged Dolphiniaris to close the attraction and send the remaining dolphins to seaside sanctuaries “where they would never again be forced to haul tourists on their backs in the sweltering Arizona desert.”
PETA plans a protest outside Dolphinaris Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday.