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Japanese whaling ship

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Sperm whale

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Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

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Two more young dolphins die in European theme parks just days apart

captive dolphin

Another dolphin calf has died in captivity shortly after birth at a French theme park.

The young male dolphin was born on the 8th  June at Planete Sauvage. The park cites heart defect or malfunction as the cause of death.

He is the second calf to have died at the park since 2016 when Aicko, another male calf died.  No cause of death was given on that occasion and the dolphin’s body was reportedly moved quickly for disposal.

On 28 May, a male bottlenose dolphin known as Teide was found floating in his tank at and aquarium in Italy. Teide was born in 1997 at Aqualand in Tenerife before being moved in 1999 to Gardaland, and then finally to Genoa Aquarium in 2012. Teide’s cause of death is not known at this point.

Dolphins are used to swimming many miles every day and a tank is a featureless prison cell for them. The death rate for captive bottlenose dolphins and belugas is higher in captivity than in the wild and, for orcas, 2.5 times higher than in the wild.

WDC is helping to establish the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland with The SEA LIFE Trust and is also working in partnership with other sanctuary projects. It is hoped these initiatives will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales and dolphins into natural environments around the world, and one day help to bring an end to whale and dolphin entertainment shows.

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