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Protest planned as fourth dolphin dies in 16 months at Dolphinaris Arizona

Kai's death marks the fourth death since the facility opened in 2016, and comes just a month after Khloe, an 11-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, died on Dec. 30 after a chronic illness.

LORRAINE LONGHI: ‘A fourth dolphin has died at Dolphinaris Arizona, an aquatic facility off Loop 101 and Via de Ventura Boulevard near Scottsdale. Kai, a 22-year-old dolphin, died Thursday morning after his condition began deteriorating and he had difficulty swimming, eating and breathing, according to a statement from Dolphinaris. The dolphin had shown signs of declining health two weeks ago and was treated, according to the statement from Christian Schaeffer, general manager for Dolphinaris.

“Kai initially seemed to be responding, but his health suddenly declined (Wednesday) night,” Schaeffer said in the statement. “We made the extremely difficult decision to humanely euthanize Kai ensuring he would pass peacefully,” Schaeffer’s statement read… Kai’s death marks the fourth death since the facility opened in 2016, and comes just a month after Khloe, an 11-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, died on Dec. 30 after a chronic illness. “We recognize losing four dolphins over the last year and a half is abnormal,” Schaeffer said…

The facility has faced opposition since its opening was announced, with many critics saying that dolphins do not belong in the desert. Laurice Dee, an activist who has advocated for the closure of Dolphinaris, has been monitoring the dolphins with concern… Dee wrote. “We must end dolphin captivity here in Arizona for the sake of the remaining four Bottlenoses.” A protest over Kai’s death is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at the west corner of Via de Ventura and Pima Road, according to Dolphin Free AZ.’ SOURCE…

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