BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The National Aquarium is still waiting for answers after the death of two baby dolphins. On Monday, the dolphin show reopened as trainers, and the dolphins, cope with the loss.
Adam May reports on a troubled track record for the dolphin exhibit.
Just a few weeks ago, two baby dolphins seemed playful and healthy at the National Aquarium. Then suddenly, they both died.
One was found dead in the pool, its mother trying to make it surface for air. The other died during a medical procedure after it showed signs of labored breathing.
“We’re grieving along side the animals, trying to get back to normalcy as best we can for us and animals, but its a tremendous loss,” said trainer, Allison Ginsburg.
Since 1992, 14 dolphins have been born at the National Aquarium and 6 have died. That’s a mortality rate of almost 43 percent and is slightly higher than the 33 percent average quoted by the Aquarium.
“We check food, the status of the animals, social reasons, medical reasons. Most often we try to rule out everything but these guys are prone to respiratory illnesses, in the wild and under human care,” said Ginsburg.
A number of animal rights groups are against keeping dolphins in captivity, including the former trainer of Flipper. They claim captive dolphins are stressed, more likely to get sick and some even committ suicide.
“As long as we call it education and research you can literally get away with murder,” said Ric O’Berry
The National Aquarium still has eight dolphins.
As they say, the show must go on. The deaths were not mentioned to the crowd.
“You just wonder why, what happened, I thought they would have referenced it a little bit,” said an audience member.
The mothers were absent from the show, in a separate tank, ocassionally still calling out for the missing calves.
The test results on those two calves could take a couple of weeks.