Spring into Action, Mirage!
Category : park updates
We visited the dolphin habitat for World Wildlife Day back in the beginning of March.
The first thing we noticed when we arrived was a female dolphin, whom we believe to be Bella, repeatedly sliding out onto her scale. The facility had just opened to the public. There were no trainers present around the main pool. The dolphin continued to slide out onto her stomach, posing for a moment or two, before sliding back into the water. This went on for several minutes.
The first training session started in the center pool with Maverick and Beetle. Maverick was orally given a drug called Nystatin. They said he is given this antifungal for his lungs and airway.
When an educator was asked about a shade structure for the dolphins, they replied saying that the dolphins are not effected by the heat or sun because they are kept in the water, which stays around 75F. Their go-to response seems to be that dolphins do not have any shade structures in the wild, so why would they need them in captivity? While at the Mirage, dolphins spend a vast majority of their life lagging at the top of the surface. The sun is a problem for the dolphins because trainers have been seen lathering on sunscreen as seen in this video.
Summer is rapdily approaching here in the Mojave desert. Mirage officials have refused every opprotunity we have given them for a meeting to discuss better options for the dolphins. They even turned down several requests to meet with Ric O’Barry. David Blasko, head of animal care at what activists refer to as the dolphin death pool, discussed providing the 10 dolphins with a shade structure during Ric O’Barrys visit to the habitat in October 2014. We were given a date in February for the confirmation of the shade, and that date has come and gone. These 10 dolphins will probably spend their 25th summer with temperatures rivaling Death Valley, and no immediate relief. It is their belief that the trainers are the ones suffering, not the animals.
Multiple educators were asked about the life expectancy of the dolphins. Each one said that dolphins in captivity live a longer life than dolphins in the wild, but each educator gave a different age. If the science behind this theory was solid, the educators information would not dispute one another. Listen to this video where an educator at the facility states the reason why Mirage employees respond with these numbers to the tourists looking to become educated on cetaceans.
The primary reason the dolphin trainers at the Mirage are saying that dolphins are declining in the wild is due to human threat. One trainer by the name of Philip has stated that he believes all wild animals should become captive animals. This knowledge is being passed onto the school children. The underwater viewing area was filled with art work from grade school aged children who believe that the only way to save dolphins is to exploit them in captive facilities such as the Mirage.
This facility needs to be on every anticap’s radar. There is no reason to be breeding dolphins in the desert, allowing them to suffer from the pox virus for several years, and not following the Animal Welfare Act by providing the animals a simple shade structure. Mirage/MGM has the capital to build a shade structure by mid summer. They just do not want to cave into activist demands. They would rather get a bunch of bad publicity and allow animals to suffer. This is not right.