The Cards Are In Your Hands, Bill Maher

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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. [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)

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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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Dolphin Pox Virus Disappearing After 4+ Years

Maverick, December 2012

Maverick, December 2012

The outbreak of the dolphin pox virus at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas that began more than four years ago may be finally coming to a close.

The disease is said to have gotten its start when Cosmo, the male dolphin born at SeaWorld Orlando, was transferred to the Mirage on March 28th 2010. He stayed at the habitat in the desert until December 6th 2013, when he was shipped to San Diego, and eventually to one of the many dolphin prisons in Florida.

Maverick, August 2014

Maverick, August 2014

When a Mirage trainer was questioned about Maverick’s condition earlier this month, she responded saying that once Cosmo arrived in San Diego with warmer waters, his virus began to clear up so they applied the same techniques here (Which would mean that the poxvirus should be gone at Seaworld San Diego and Seaworld Orlando…)She also said the Mirage habitat water is currently reading at about 78F.

Funny that such a simple solution took more than four years for the vet staff in charge of the dolphins at Mirage (and even longer for the dolphins at Seaworld) to come up with and apply. With our limited resources here at MojaveDolphins.Com, we were able to come to the conclusion that water temperature and salinity were the major factors that needed to be looked into.

Maverick, January 2015

Maverick, January 2015

The Mirage dolphin habitat was inspected by the government not one, not two, but FIVE times last year. Why is it that the government saw nothing wrong with visually ill dolphins swimming around in tanks with chipped paint and no protection from the harsh environment that is the Mojave desert?

The waves are finally starting to roll in the last two years. We have seen an explosion of people joining the fight for cetacean rights. Movies like “The Cove” and “Blackfish” are causing people to see that these sentient mammals deserve our respect.

Maverick, and all other dolphins in captivity around the globe, may look happier to the naked eye because they are not covered in lesions, but remember to tell your family and friends that this is not the case. The dolphins at the Mirage do not deserve to live the remainder of their life in a concrete swimming pool in the middle of the desert.

 


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