Baby dolphin stillborn at WB facility

| 06/08/2015 | 38 Comments
Cayman Neww Service

Bottlenose dolphin mother and calf (Photo courtesy PETA)

(CNS): An expectant dolphin at the captive facility Dolphin Discovery gave birth to a stillborn baby on Monday, the owners have confirmed. Despite losing the calf, the dolphin who was in her first pregnancy, is doing well and officials hope the female will be pregnant again in the future. Disappointed over the stillborn dolphin, Gene Thompson, one of the owners of the facility, said another dolphin had, however, given birth to a live calf on Sunday and the two animals were now doing well. He said that the loss of a first calf is not unusual for first time dolphin mothers.

Despite the controversies surrounding captive dolphins and the level of opposition both overseas and locally, Cayman has two dolphinariums. Since it opened its doors in 2008, Dolphin Discovery has seen two other births, Thompson confirmed. As well as the loss on Monday, a young nine month old dolphin, the first ever bottlenose dolphin born in captivity here, died in 2010, leaving one other surviving captive born calf in addition to the baby born on Sunday.

Although there are no publicly available figures regarding dolphin mortality rates at the Cayman facilities, all deaths should be reported to the Department of Agriculture (DoA). That department is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the husbandry of the captive dolphins, though that too is an area of controversy.

Some eight years after the two facilities opened, neither Dolphin Cove, located near Morgan’s Harbour, nor Dolphin Discovery, which is by the Cayman Turtle Farm on North West Point, have been issued with licences by the department. Officials have repeatedly pointed to a problem with the drafting of regulations for the Animal’s Law as an explanation for the ongoing failure to licence the two facilities, which prevents government from holding either facility to account over the protection of their animals.

CNS asked the DoA about the latest fatality by email early Wednesday and officials said they would provide an official response “shortly”, as it was ministry policy that “response to media inquiries must be reviewed and approved by the ministry. As soon as said approval has been received we will provide you with our official response and answers to your questions.” Consequently, no answers were received before publication.

Although Dolphin Discovery has lost two babies, there have been no reports of any adult deaths.

Dolphin Cove stated that it has not seen any of its mostly adult marine mammals die since it opened but it has not bred any dolphins at that facility.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Friends don’t let friends eat turtle either.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Free Willy @ 10:03a – Careful with your uninformed statements. There are plenty other nationalities on those beohemoths that come here not just Americans.

  3. asdf says:

    do you think the chemicals they put in the water to fight the algae growth might be killing the baby dolphins?

    does the chemical have any effect on the ocean?

    who knows?
    who cares?

  4. Anonymous says:

    For all of you dolphin huggers, how many of you have dogs or cats? Explain to me how that is any different?

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s so weird that Caymanians complain that they can’t explain to their children about homosexuals, but somehow can explain and justify the captivity and torture of dophins and turtles. This kind of attraction repels potential visitors – so third world and stupid.

  6. Cheese Face says:

    The owners should be ashamed of themselves, I avoid all of their other business when possible. Born into a prison? what a life. Better off dead.

  7. Anonymous says:

    These places are a testament to how depraved and money grabbing the Cayman Islands have become.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is all about ME $$$$

  9. Anonymous says:

    Somehow, some way, this must be Dart’s fault.

  10. Anonymous says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    For such an environmentally conscious country, Cayman still does not realize the harm that they are causing these poor dolphins. They are not sharks or fish, these animals are actually one of the most intelligent animals on earth. They are highly social and swim upward to 100 miles per day. They have been know to guide whales and their calf from shallow waters into deeper and safer waters. Having dolphinariums is more torturous than locking a human up in prison. We are not the only species on this earth to be taking part in this cruelty. The ocean makes up 70% of this planet and we only know about 5% of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      “For such an environmentally conscious country”……hilarious.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup that’s what I thought. We’re not environmentally friendly, we have once heck of an excellent environment which our government and other people seem hell bent on wrecking our beautiful island and coral reefs. The cruelty and lack of regard for domestic animals must surely be an indicator of how environment conscious and animal-friendly Cayman REALLY is.

  12. Free Willy says:

    It is disgusting that they are trying to put a positive spin on this. Dolphin captivity centres are another example of the horrific and tasteless measures that must be endured to entertain American cruise passengers.

  13. Anonymous says:

    the real sadness is that, even it did survive…it would only have a life of captivity….

  14. Anonymous says:

    boycott the dolphin prisons!

  15. Saddened :-( says:

    So tragic – dolphinariums are a horrible scar on this beautiful island and both need closing down. It is wrong that they swim in those pathetic enclosed spaces with the ocean just out of reach – how cruel?! The mother dolphin is probably relieved as it has been known for other species to abort or even kill their own young rather than allow them to exist in captivity as they themselves have done. They need to be returned to the oceans to live as god intended. This is indeed a paradise for some, but sadly an awful prison for others.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Two attractions operating seven years without a DoA license…tell us again how corruption isn’t rife in these islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Leaving aside option (A) proper regulations, would it be better if government had gone with (B) not allowing businesses to operate due to a lack of regulations on paper? Unless you’d have preferred the operations be shut down for seven years waiting for the regulations to be drafted then option (c) was better and not necessarily corruption but just common sense (get out of business way if you don’t have regulations on paper).

      Not this is not a pro or con dolphins in captivity thread but a pro or con business and regulations thread.

      • Anonymous says:

        The said operations should never have been allowed to even contemplate opening or operating in any event.

    • Shhhhhh. says:

      To have licensing you first have to have knowledge, then you write standards, then you can regulate by law. I fail to see how you see corruption rather than procrastination. Clean yo specs bobo.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The poor calves may have avoided a miserable life of mistreatment. It is so backwards to allow these places to carry on business.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This place is still open? SHUT IT DOWN!

  19. Willy says:

    I am wholeheartedly against holding creatures in captivity for profit. The owners/developers should be held in captivity so people could come and see them!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Knowing the intelligence of these mammals, it is heartbreaking for us to hold them in captivity.

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