Author Archives: MojaveDolphins

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The Cards Are In Your Hands, Bill Maher

BillMaherIt has been brought to our attention that comedian Bill Maher is set to perform at the Mirage in just a few days. This is a big deal because Bill Maher is an animal rights activist, and a celebrity PETA supporter. PETA actively condemns The Mirage and their use of dolphins as aquatic circus entertainers in the middle of the Mojave Desert. How did the controversey surrounding this venue and their use of animals for profit manage to slip through the cracks at the hands of Bill Mahers management team?

BillMaherBill Maher has said that he is a “big animal rights guy”, and has been an outspoken animal rights activist for decades. He has worked with groups such as PETA, Best Friends Animal Society, and Farm Animal Rights Movement. His show “Real Time with Bill Maher” has seen guests such as John Hargrove and Paul Watson, two outspoken cetacean rights advocates. Bill Maher once told McLean’s manazine that he finds “any form of animal destruction” to be the saddest thing in the world.

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The 9 remaining dolphins at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas are just weeks away from scorching summer temperatures here in the Mojave Desert where their captors, MGM Resorts International, refuse to build them a shade structure. Animal Welfare Act regulations state under 9CFR Section 3.103(b) Facilities, Outdoor, Shelter: Natural or artificial shelter which is appropriate for the species concerned, when local climatic conditions are taken into consideration, shall be provided for all marine mammals kept outdoors to afford them protection from the weather or from direct sunlight.

ROGAN3Fellow comedian Joe Rogan pledged last year to not perform at the Mirage Hotel, due to the request of his fans who understood his love of dolphins. Nick Swardson said he was going to look into the case of MGM Resorts and the Fuzzy Dolphin Math but has apparently gone back on his word. He is scheduled to perform on April 2nd 2016. Matt Sorum, of Guns N’ Roses fame, had this to say about the dolphin prison in the desert: “I was offered to do my wedding with my wife, Ace, at The Mirage three years ago, but turned them down due to the suffering of the dolphins kept there. To think about these magical creatures in the middle of the desert forced to perform and swim with humans for entertainment…It didn’t feel like a place we wanted to celebrate our most special day. The Mirage needs to close this dolphin abusement facility immediately. The desert and/or a swimming pool is no place for dolphins. Please boycott The Mirage Hotel.”

We urge Bill Maher to please be the celebrity voice that these dolphins desperately deserve. 25 years is far too long for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to be held prisoner in the middle of the Mojave desert. What happens in Las Vegas in the backyard at the Mirage Casino needs to be shown to the world.

  1. .@billmaher How can you be playing @TheMirageLV where 9 #mojavedolphins are held captive in the DESERT? pic.twitter.com/hyzztjbRWW (Tweet This)
  2. .@billmaher Cruelty is not entertainment. Please be a voice for the #MojaveDolphins trapped at @TheMirageLV pic.twitter.com/xHWlsGWJeR (Tweet This)
  3. .@billmaher, @joerogan took a stand for #MojaveDolphins, WILL YOU? bit.ly/1SjWQn8 Dolphins in the desert? pic.twitter.com/VzZuuk5RYI (Tweet This)

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Seaworld’s “Beetle” Dolphin Dies in Casino Swimming Pool

In a press statement from MGM, a 12-year old bottlenose dolphin named Beetle died on Oct. 27 of unknown causes. Beetle was the 13th dolphin to die at The Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Historically, this facility has had 22 dolphins — now with a 59 percent mortality rate and an average age of death of 10-years old. Wild dolphins can live to be 50 years or more, concluding that this facility, even with up-to-date filtration systems and temperature-controlled water, restaurant-quality frozen dead fish and a full-time vet, the dolphins in Las Vegas are dying 30 years younger in their captive environment in the desert.

Beetle came to The Mirage in 2010 from SeaWorld Orlando on a long-term breeding loan. Though he never fathered any offspring, The Habitat emphasized in September they would begin breeding all the sexually-mature males. Beetle made news in Orlando for biting a child.

Beetle has been documented on multiple occasions by Free The Mojave Dolphins and Martyn Stewart logging motionless at the gates, chewing on the gates and piping and being aggressive toward other male dolphins.

Because of this behavior, the facility put a plastic kayak in front of the gate to deter Beetle from chewing. The kayak has been chewed as well.

Photo by Terran Baylor

Photo by Terran Baylor

Beetle was also used as one of the main dolphins in the “Paint with a Dolphin Program” where patrons pay to have a dolphin paint on a piece of canvas.

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Beetle was mainly kept in one of the three pools at the Mirage with minimal shade to find refuge in under the sun. Though there is a shade regulation under the Animal Welfare Act ( § 3.127 Facilities, outdoor.(a) Shelter from sunlight. When sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort of the animals, sufficient shade by natural or artificial means shall be provided to allow all animals kept outdoors to protect themselves from direct sunlight.), there have been multiple APHIS inspections, pressure from the community for constructing a structure, and even a verbal commitment from MGM to begin building in Spring 2015. No such structure was ever built.

We would like to make sure Beetle is not replaced by another dolphin. We would like for all breeding to end at The Mirage and to ban any additional importing of dolphins. Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is currently working on a dolphin sanctuary in Mexico where these dolphins have an open invitation to retire too.

You can call MGM corporate at 1-(702)-891-1844 directly to tell them you will boycott them until they shut down the dolphin exhibit. You can also contact the Dolphin Habitat to voice your concerns at 1-(702)-791-7111, 1-(702)-791-7588, 1-(702)-792-7889

Please also sign the petitions.

RIP Beetle. You are free to roam the skies now and no gate will ever keep you from freedom again.


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Beetle Tweetsheets

#AskSeaworld Campaign

#AskSeaworld @SeaWorld If you care about your animals, why did you dump your “problem” dolphin out in the desert? pic.twitter.com/sQ7gvDGChY

(click here to send tweet)

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#AskSeaworld @SeaWorld if you provide the best care, why are your animals in the desert w/o shade? #MojaveDolphins pic.twitter.com/NBbTbbaS66

(click here to send tweet)

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#AskSeaworld Hey @SeaWorld, how do you feel about Beetle dying @TheMirageLV at the young age of 12? #MojaveDolphins pic.twitter.com/9ahmgDyh2P

(click here to send tweet)

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#AskSeaworld @SeaWorld why did you send dolphins from each of your parks to pools in the desert without shade? pic.twitter.com/diOjuWT0kq

(click here to send tweet)

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Contact Local Vegas Media

NBC My News 3 @News3LV

Fox 5 Vegas @fox5vegas

CBS 8 News Now@8newsnow

ABC Action 13 News@ktnv

Krystal Allen @KrystalNews3LV

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Scott Daniels @Scott_8NewsNow

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Rachel Smith @RachelFox5

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Denise Rosch @DRoschNews3LV

Rachel Moore @Rachelann_MOORE

 Patranya Bhoolsuwan @Patranya

Sandra Gonzalez @SandraGonzalez2

 Maggie Krol @MaggieKrol

Nathan O’Neal @NateNews3LV

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 Vicki Gonzalez @VickiNews3LV


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Dyrdek and the Desert Dolphins

ROB2Over the weekend of October 17th-18th 2015, Rob Dyrdek uploaded a photo of what appears to be a private gathering at the Mirage Casino Dolphin Habitat after hours. While activsts were out standing out on the strip, educating the tourists about the horrors of dolphin captivity, Rob was gushing about the attire of his guests and the “pod” of dolphins swimming in a small pool in the Mojave desert.

These ten dolphins do not get any relief from extreme temperatures in the summer time. The UV rays burn their skin just like humans. Three of these dolphins belong to SeaWorld, who placed them in the desert hoping they would produce several offspring to further the captive gene pool. These dolphins are subjected to chewing gum in the pools, leaky tanks, left in a beached position for several minutes for photos, and gated away from their family members.

We have noticed during the last 12 months that Viacom (the company that owns many television networks such as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, LOGO, and Spike) has had several of their network stars directly promoting the dolphin habitat through their social media postings and indirectly through their promotional bookings and showings at the Terry Fator theater inside of the Mirage casino.

ROBFLYERWhile we understand that Rob and Bryiana Noelle Flores were recently married, and we are in no way trying to take away from their special day, we DO want to stress the importance of educating celebrities who choose to boast about such experiences while the animals are left to suffer. Rob and Bryiana are in a very fortunate place in life that has given them a platform to reach hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

We urge Bryiana and Rob to watch documentaries such as “Blackfish” and “The Cove”, research the effects of captivity on cetaceans, and ask themselves if they really believe that sentient mammals such as dolphins belong in barren swimming pools, hundreds of miles from the ocean in the middle of the driest desert in the country. We ask that they speak to fellow celebrities such as Steve-o (who also received popularity thanks to MTV) and Joe Rogan and listen to their opinion on why they have joined the crusade against cetaceans in captivity.

 

Rob Dyrdek Bryiana Noelle
  1. .@robdyrdek #MojaveDolphins are SUFFERING at Mirage. Here are some facts to help you learn. Plz dont promote them pic.twitter.com/J20Dxj0ECG (Tweet)
  2. .@robdyrdek #MojaveDolphins should not be kept in desert swimming pools. Talk to @steveo about why this is wrong! pic.twitter.com/Br1w9GPqaY (Tweet)
  3. .@robdyrdek Exploiting #MojaveDolphins is not entertaining, funny OR cool. Please consider helping the 10 dolphins pic.twitter.com/jDvYTL1CVM (Tweet)
(If we see her Twitter come back online, we will design some tweet sheets to Bryiana. Stay tuned and be on the look out! In the mean time, feel free to leave polite, information comments on her facebook and instagram pages)

ROB


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Violation Found at Mirage, Needs Reinspection

Earlier this month, Comedian Joe Rogan spoke out against dolphin captivity at The Mirage to The Las Vegas Review Journal.  Rogan, who had a show scheduled at The Mirage Room, a theater that hosts the “Aces of Comedy” comedians decided to switch venues due to his opinions against dolphin captivity.  

The Aces of Comedy is an ongoing show at The Mirage showcasing a lineup of comedians performing at “The Mirage Room”, including the biggest names in comedy.  Comedians such as Jay Leno, Gabriel Iglesias, Nick Swardson, Ray Romano, Ron White, Daniel Tosh and Tim Allen all have upcoming events at The Mirage.

The Mojave Dolphins Campaign has recently heard from comedian Nick Swardson, who is scheduled to perform October 9th, and has agreed to look into the effects of dolphin captivity and the emotional and physical suffering dolphins endure at The Mirage’s Dolphin Habitat.

We at Free The Mojave Dolphins have had a call to action in place to contact the upcoming comedians urging them to do the same as Joe Rogan and change venues for their shows with letter templates and pre-automated tweets directed at each comedian.

The Mirage was inspected by the USDA in late June after a lack of shade complaint was submitted by Mojave Dolphins. The inspection yielded a citing for sanitation under 3.107 (b) of the Animal Welfare act stating “Food preparation/kitchen:  There was a brownish-yellow, raised, foamy substance attached to an area near a pipe at the junction between the wall and the ceiling.”  The citation was to be corrected by 7-16-15 but there has been no follow up from the USDA on whether this sanitation violation has been resolved.  

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The inspection was prepared by USDA, APHIS, and Animal Care Veterinarian Tyler Fields who is a local Las Vegas small animal veterinarian with no known expertise on marine mammals.  
Please use the attached letter template and send to APHIS representative Robert Gibbens at [email protected] asking them to send a qualified Marine Mammal Veterinarian to follow up on the sanitation violation that should have been corrected.


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Taiji Tweet Sheets

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The annual hunt of small cetaceans in Taiji, Japan began about two weeks ago on Sept. 1st 2015. We were blessed with 10 straight days of “Cove Blue” – meaning that the dolphins were safe in the ocean, swimming free with their pods away from hunters grasp. Tonight the ocean ran “Cove Red” – dolphins were captured and slaughtered.

The first pod was captured on Sept 11th 2015 – a pod of Rissos. This is horrible news!

This needs to get global attention. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your local news. There is a tweet sheet being passed around to activists to help get the word out for all 4 types of situations. Please follow Act now for Dolphins: Unite against the Taiji Slaughter and lend your voice below:

 News Outlets  Pod Driven Towards Cove  Pod Trapped in Cove  Blood in the Water Pod Trapped Overnight 
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@8NewsNow
@ABC
@ABC2020
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@AC360
@AP
@AlJazeera
@Asahi
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@MotherJones
@NBCNews
@NBCNewsWorld
@NYTimes
@NatGeo
@NatGeoChannel
@NatureJapan
@News3LV
@Oprah
@OrlandoSentinel
@SkyNews
@TMZ
@TheEllenShow
@TheJapanChannel
@The_Japan_News
@TimesOfIndia
@UPI
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