BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Heartbreak for trainers and staff at the National Aquarium. A baby dolphin died Saturday night– the second death in a less than week. Now the aquarium is trying to figure out why.
Adam May has more on the calves’ sudden death.
Two unnamed baby dolphins– each around 3 months old– suddenly died at the National Aquarium.
The first was found dead in the pool last week. The second showed signs of heavy breathing and decreased appetite before she underwent an unsuccessful medical procedure Saturday night.
“This is just devastating for our staff,” said Sue Hunter, director of animal programs. “I’ve been here 20 years and I’m just devastated by the loss. We’re all very sad right now.”
As a result, the dolphin show was canceled Sunday.
“For those guests that came here today we actually refunded that portion of their tickets and some guests donated that money to help with research here at the aquarium,” said Charles Meyers, director of visitor services.
Last March, an 11-day-old calf also died. Testing revealed an infection. New tests performed by Johns Hopkins Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology are pending.
“Baby bottlenose dolphins are very, very fragile in their first year of life,” Hunter said. “The mortality rate for these animals in aquariums and oceans is 33 percent, which is high for a species.”
The aquarium still has eight dolphins. The dolphin shows continue next week.