Saturday, July 12, 2008

PETA wants investgation of dolphin's death at The Mirage hotel in Las Vegas

PETA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) animal care division urging an investigation into the death of the dolphin Sage at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Sage was found dead July 5 at the bottom of a pool at The Mirage's Dolphin Habitat exhibit. PETA is calling for a necropsy to be performed on Sage in order to determine if any negligence on the part of The Mirage led to the animal's death.

At least 12 dolphins have reportedly died at The Mirage since 1990 from causes including pancreatitis, pulmonary abscess, respiratory problems, and pneumonia. In order to settle charges that it allegedly violated the federal Animal Welfare Act, The Mirage agreed in 2005 to make changes in the care that it provides to dolphins at the exhibit.

"The Mirage is gambling with dolphins' lives, and the dolphins always lose," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "Dolphins and deserts don't mix. In the wild, dolphins swim hundreds of miles. In Las Vegas, their 'habitat' is measured in gallons instead of fathoms."

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- MGM Mirage officials are investigating the death of a dolphin at an aquatic habitat at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip.

Company spokeswoman Yvette Monet said Monday the female dolphin, named Sage, died Saturday morning and animal care officials were still trying to determine why.

The death was first reported by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. Monet says the dolphin was born at the attraction in May 1997, and was 11 years old. She confirms it was the 11th dolphin death at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat since the attraction opened with five dolphins in 1990.

The dolphin habitat offers tours to the paying public, birthday parties, "trainer for a day" and group tours. It can also be rented as a setting for private events.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"