The ‘dolphin death pool’ in Las Vegas has claimed its 14th victim. Bella died at the Mirage Dolphin Habitat in the Mojave Desert on April 14th, 2022 after undergoing treatment for gastroenteritis for several weeks, according to a press release sent out to local news stations.
Bella was born on September 6th, 2008 to Huf-N-Puf and Lightning. She lived 13 years, 7 months and 8 days in captivity while dolphins in the wild live to be 40-60 years old. Bella spent 4,968 days without protection from the sun’s harsh UV rays as she sat at the surface, chewing at the gates between the three pools. She gave birth on August 16th, 2019 to her daughter Lady Aces who is still languishing within the hotel’s backyard 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.
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.
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
Picabo gave birth to a male dolphin at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on May 15th 2001. Less than 4 years later, that dolphin calf had passed away from unknown reasons. His name was Rascal, or as Steve Wynn affectionately referred to him, Wizard, named after the dolphin’s father and original mojave dolphin, Merlin. His death rounded off 2004 with 4 cetacean fatalities within the Mojave desert.
Sigma was captured in 1975 from the waters of Texas, and she lived for almost 30 years in captivity. Her final swim was on March 21st 2004. Picabo was captive born, one of the first to take place at the Mirage habitat. Named after the US Olympic skiier, Picabo Street, she was born March 14th 1994. She only lived to be about 10 years old, passing away from acture septic peritonitis on July 6th 2004. Bugsy was born two weeks after Picabo on March 31st 1994. He passed away from a pulmonary abcess on July 2nd 2004, 4 days before Picabo. Picabo’s son, Rascal, passed away from a cause yet to be determined on December 3rd 2004. What happened within those pools in the year of 2004?????????
Protesters took to the Las Vegas strip on December 6th 2014 to alert the public that their money being spent at the Mirage is funding the abuse of cetaceans. Thirty activists lined themselves up along the gate in front of the iconic exploding volcano outside of the Mirage hotel. As the volcano erupted, tourists eyes were drawn as if by a magnet, to our signs in front of the action. Many people are completely shocked to find out that this hotel is keeping aquatic animals.
If this group existed a decade ago, we could of shut the dolphin habitat down. Four deaths in one year is outrageous. Mirage needs to feel the heat. Jim Murren, the CEO of MGM resorts, has told Free the Mojave Dolphins and Ric O’Barry that he plans to get shade up for the dolphins in 2015. Temperatures are currently frosty, but summer is fast approaching. These dolphins cannot go another year without any protection from the harsh environment.
Continue to contact the Mirage with your questions and complaints about the way they are choosing to make their money in a desert environment. Voice your concerns over the telephone at 702-791-7111. You can email Jim Murren, the CEO of MGM resorts at [email protected] or you can direct your emails to the person in charge of public relations Yvette Monet [email protected]. Push for them to arrange a meeting between Ric O’Barry and Jim Murren. We keep being declined.