Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Longest breeding dolphin in captivity dies

A beloved dolphin said to have the world's longest breeding record has died after spending 36 years at an aquarium in central Japan, the aquarium said Friday.

The female false killer whale named "Jumbo" died on Tuesday, Shimoda Kaichu Aquarium in Shimoda City, Shizuoka prefecture (state), said in a statement Friday.

Jumbo arrived at the aquarium in 1970 and marked her 36th anniversary there last Friday, it said. Jumbo had been in bad shape since early December with her appetite waning.

Kyodo News agency said Jumbo was believed to be 40-years old.

In September 1996, Jumbo broke a previous breeding record of 25 years and nine months set by another false killer whale at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.

"A long-range jumper and quick to recognize the staff's orders, she has become our star," the statement said. "It is truly regrettable. We would like to utilize the important data we garnered through raising Jumbo for future breeding."

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"