• 0

Seaside Sanctuary for Baltimore Dolphins

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is going to be the first dolphinarium in North America to build their dolphins a seaside sanctuary.

The team behind this project is still scouting for the perfect location, and needs to consider:

  • The environmental appropriateness of a site (natural stimuli, exemplary water quality, a fitting climate, etc.)
  • Community interest in the sanctuary
  • Potential for high levels of environmental protection and ability to achieve proper permitting
  • Workforce-related considerations (housing, livability, family, and healthcare, etc.)

Empty the Tanks 2016, National Aquarium

When you engage in a conversation about anti-captivity with an individual who isn’t familiar with the subject matter, their response is usually somewhere along the lines of “How will the dolphins survive in an ocean? You can’t just drop them and forget about them.”

Even though the new sanctuary will not be ready for a few more years, the National Aquarium is already working diligently with their dolphins, preparing them to be transitioned to living in the ocean.

A dolphin plays in the tank before a training session. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Each dolphin is being treated as an individual, and a customized plan is in place for each of the seven dolphins. The National Aquarium is also beginning to teach the dolphins how to use a stretcher and to relax in shallow waters with trainers surrounding them so they will be less stressed during transport. Algae has been introduced into the tanks to provide a more natural setting, and to help the dolphins learn to adapt to their new environmentally-rich home. New toys will be introduced to their regimen to allow for problem-solving skills to develop.

Dolphin captivity has been a failed experiment that has gone on far too long. Cetaceans do not thrive in captive swimming pools. This is the very thing that activists are begging other facilities to do.

We urge The Mirage to be industry leaders in this new ground-breaking research on cetaceans and follow the National Aquarium by sending the 10 Mojave Dolphins to a seaside sanctuary.

Empty the Tanks 2017, National Aquarium


  • 0

Big Cats Cause an Uproar in Las Vegas Resort

Have you heard of the magician Dirk Arthur? It seems that many people haven’t, but that didn’t stop the Westgate in Las Vegas from hiring him on as their new act. Dirk Arthur is going to attempt to evade animal activists by only using a bobcat and a snow leopard on his act. His show was set to debut on November 1st, and for reasons unknown to us, was pushed back to November 15th at 6 pm.

Jonathan Kraft, Founder and Director of Keepers of the Wild spoke out two years ago stating, “Times have changed and it’s just appalling how these animals live on concrete, from box to box to box. They’ve got a miserable life and it’s really a terrible form of abuse”. He is the authority to speak to given the fact that Jonathan became an animal activist after training two cubs for a Las Vegas production and witnessing the abuse and neglect provided by other animal trainers.

The last time I blogged about Dirk Arthur, I posted:

Dirk Arthur says he is for conservation, but he has been cited by federal agencies for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including forcing tigers and a lion to undergo a painful declawing surgery. This procedure amputates the last joint on each toe, and is highly frowned upon. He has also kept his large cats in metal cages with no protection from the harsh elements in temperatures over 100 degrees.

When Dirk Arthur performed during the last days of the Riviera, I hosted several protests in front of the hotel that attracted media attention. It was truly a shock when the Westgate picked up his bill. We also protested him during his last run at Westgate. Animal Defenders International released an expose, and he quietly ran away. Activists are already beginning to plan to put constant pressure on the hotel until they drop the show for good this time.

For information on the opening protest, follow this facebook event page.

Phone your complaints into the Westgate Hotel and urge them to drop Dirk Arthurs inhumane performance: (702) 732-5111


  • 0

Upcoming: 3rd Annual ‘Thanks but No Tanks!’

Thanks but No Tanks 2014

The Las Vegas activist pod will be coming together once again this holiday season to convince tourists that there is nothing cheery about visiting the Mirage Hotel and Casino as long as animals are used as an entertainment attraction. We will be meeting for our 3rd Annual “Thanks but No Tanks!” protest that happens the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Tourism is slow for our city during Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but Las Vegas is a popular destination for those who are seeking to travel away for the holidays due to cheap hotel rooms. According to the LA Times, it is especially common for Asian tourists from Southern California.

Our goals for this protest are to engage with the tourists and passersby in conversation about the horrors behind the captive dolphin industry and convince them to not purchase a ticket to any facility that holds dolphins. We will be displaying posters to motorists and pedestrians, and handing out educational brochures regarding the local #MojaveDolphins campaign.

Empty the Tanks 2014

We are speaking out on behalf of the 13 dolphins that have been documented to have died prematurely within the Mirage Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. We are the voices of Beetle, Sgt Pepper, Sage, Squirt, Rascal, Picabo, Banjo, Sigma, Darla, Bugsy, Merlin, and the calves of both Darla and Sigma. We will continue splashing for Duchess, Lightning, Huf-N-Puf, Maverick, Osbourne, Sophie, Bella, K2, Miramar, and Coco. We will never be silent.


  • 0

Making a Splash on the Las Vegas Strip

Category : protests & events

There’s a new mobile billboard truck running down the Las Vegas strip this week, have you seen it?

On October 21st 2017, Compassionworks International hosted an event outside of the Mirage Hotel to raise awareness about both the dolphins and the wild cats confined within the Secret Garden attraction. There were other “Freedom Matters” events held around the country: Franklin Park Zoo (Boston, MA), Los Angeles Zoo (Los Angeles, CA), and Brookfield Zoo (Brookfield, IL).

The protest outside of the Mirage Hotel included something special… a mobile billboard truck rolling down the always populated Las Vegas strip for a week of advertising. The sides of the truck display messages such as “MY HOME IS IN THE OCEAN”, and “JAILED WITHOUT A CRIME”, “CONFINED FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT”, and “CAPTIVITY IS CRUELTY”.

The City of Las Vegas sees an average of over 800,000 tourist visitors a week… that is nearly one million people who have the potential to see the mobile billboard! Let us know if you see it.  Click this link to watch our video of the truck in action!

The dolphin habitat in Las Vegas has been operational for 27 years as of this month. Duchess has been held in these same pools for nearly 3 decades. Her offspring are now having to raise their offspring in the filthy, uncovered, man-made habitats. This is unacceptable, and we are outraged. Continue to phone your messages to the hotel at (702) 791-7111. You can also use the pre-written tweet below:

TWEET THIS MESSAGE: I am disgusted that it’s been 27 years and has yet to provide their with a shade structure.

We will continue to document the conditions these animals are held in, raise awareness on how it’s wrong to purchase tickets to view their suffering, and hold events outside of the Mirage Hotel. Our next event will be our 3rd annual “Thanks But No Tanks” protest held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Thank you to Compassionworks International for the mobile billboard truck.


  • 0

Coco and the Corporate Shill

During Spring of 2017, I started to receive reports that at least one of the dolphins at the Mirage was pregnant.

 

On July 17th 2017, local news reported that Huf-N-Puf gave birth to a female dolphin calf at the Mirage. The father was Lightning. This is their third calf together. Her siblings are Bella (born 2008) and Miramar (born 2011). The name was released to the public in September 2017; “Coco”. She is being kept with Huf, Duchess, and Bella in the birthing and research pool. This is the large pool in the rear.

Back Tank “Birthing and Research Pool” April 2014

Coco was named after MGM’s employee philosophy which is “One Company, One Culture”. This is the same company that keeps her and the rest of the Mojave pod confined under extreme temperatures with absolutely no escape from the sun. The foliage around the pools provides very little shade, and only during certain times of the day. Las Vegas had nearly 60 days this summer where we reached at least 105f or higher. In the wild, dolphins have the ability to swim deep beneath the surface, protecting their skin from being sunburned. Dolphins at the Mirage spend the majority of their time lagging at the surface, chewing at the gates, and waiting for food.

Coco’s life will be no different than the rest of the animals here in Las Vegas. She will spend her days swimming around the tiny pool with artificial coral awhile tourists point and smile at how “cute and happy” she must be because they can see the rather unfortunate way her anatomy forms her mouth. Overtime she may pick up one or more stereotypical behaviors of captive dolphins; waiting at the gates, biting the gates, or beaching herself.

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

Join us in October as we protest outside of the Mirage Hotel for ALL animals held within their backyard. October 21st 10am-12pm. Freedom Matters: Protest captivity at the Mirage Las Vegas!

 


  • 0

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.

BillMaher2

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