Baby dolphin born into captivity dies

| 15/04/2010

(CNS): The baby dolphin, which was the first bottlenose dolphin born in captivity in the Cayman Islands, has reportedly died. CNS has not yet been able to confirm the details but the young marine mammal was reportedly found dead by her handlers at Dolphin Discovery in West Bay. The dolphin was born less than nine months old and it is said to be the first dolphin to die at the facility since it opened. The islands two dolphinariums have been the subject of considerable controversy as a result of the changing attitudes towards the acceptability of such facilities, with many people considering it cruel and unnecessary. There are also continued questions surrounding the trade in live dolphins and how they are actually captured, despite the alleged awarding of CITES certificates.

Check back with CNS later for more details on the circumstances of the dolphin’s death.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Science and Nature

About the Author ()

Comments (66)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Disgrace says:

    These institutions are a disgrace and show how desperate and backwards the Cayman Islands tourist product really is.

  2. Anonymous says:

     I would like to congrats to the people that have wrote the comments !!!

    Besides make me laughed as hell! ( and I do live in Hell, literally, and yeah I would love to see the replays about where I live ! ) you gave me the chance to realize the ignorance in Cayman Islands (sadly I was born in this shitty part of the world, moving soon, by the way)

    Dolphins, not worry at all, I must concern about the trainers and people that work for those places because people like you make this Island the worse place in the world, finally we have a real place to have educate our selves and a baby dolphin that was born in Cayman Islands, unfortunately past away and look what you people are doing ! Expatriates, go back to your Countries other wise help local people to enjoy what others do…!

    About the Cove and Rick O’barry, he is a recover drug addict and he still making money with Dolphins in captivity…!

    Keep Dolphin Free/Cayman Islands. XXXX

    must say…

    By the way…

    on my way to Dolphin Discovery to swim with Dolphins, you people should do the same and learn !


    • Anonymous says:

      If you are moving away soon as you say, you may wish to improve your writing skills before looking for a job.

    • noname says:

      My, aren’t you a bright spark? All I can really understand from your very badly written comment is that you are a complete idiot, who is moving somewhere else.

      Where are you moving to out of interest? I hope they have lots of fast food restaurants there.

      And yes, I will have fries with that.


  3. Animaliberator says:

    I shall eagerly await the final report as to how or why this dolphin died. Eventually, everything dies in the end, that is hardly the problem. Needless to say that regardless of their natural environment, they are much better off in the wild where they belong, there is no question about that.

    However, I do have my own interpretation of this particular death. When a baby is born, human or animal, it needs the very best nature has to offer in order to grow such as an immune system for starters and a healthy digestive system and most of all, the right proper food to make that and all other organs function as they should.

    Since dolphins basically never stop swimming all their lives from the moment of birth is the culprit as in this bath tub, this is simply not possible. The mother trains the calf from the first day, how to keep up, hunt for food etc. and get all the excersise a newborn needs in order to stay alive. Food is the second problem. All they get, young and old, is dead fish, of whatever description and at whatever intervals that may be. We humans have no clue whatsoever what the natural eatings habits are of just about any animal from the wild, marine mammals in particular, it’s nothing more then a guessing game. Also the fact that this calf was born in captivity from a captive mother, has absolutely nothing to do with it as for a newborn, it needs all the wild stuff in order to just live.

    I hope the authorities, if any, will disclose the true nature of this death and it would not surpise me at all if it died or multiple organ failure as a result of at least a lack of proper excersise and a really bad diet.

  4. Joe Average says:

    We could argue that the dolphin died of "natural causes" as the facility points out.  Or that it died as a result of being born into an "unnatural environment".  We’ll never know the answer.  But it entirely misses the fact that these facilities are ridiculous from any moral, ethical, environmental, conservation, or educational standpoint.

    Call them Dolphinariums, or whatever.

    They are in essence out-sized swimming pools… where people pay admission… to swim with and molest sentient creatures that co-operate for food. 

    I am so disgusted by them…. I wouldn’t even drive past.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately visitors, cruiseship or otherwise, get a lot of BS from tour operators and "Dolphinarium" websites about how they’re "protecting" the dolphins. After a visit, a lot of tourists and, espicially the kids, realize the cruelty, and are disgusted with themselves and the whole Dolphinarium scam.

  5. TGIF says:

    So, if I was to catch a few of these wild chickens that keeps taking a sh*t in my yard and lock them away to save myself a few dollars when it comes to buying eggs, you whiners are going to start complaining about them being in captivity too? Aren’t you all tired of getting all riled up about this subject by now? The dolphins are here, one died and life goes on.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Now there is a great surprise!!!!!!!!!!

    Well done! Well done! I will proudly say, "I TOLD YOU SO!"

  7. Anonymous says:

    Okay already you idiot. Yes, dolphins die in the wild. So do human beings. But that doesn’t mean we should imprison wild animals for our entertainment (and please notice the word "wild", domesticated animals like cats and dogs are genetically adapted to living amongst humans). And yes, life in the wild can be harsh. But then at least these wild animals get the chance to live and die as nature intended. And I have yet to hear of any dolphin that volunteered to get him/herself captured to live in human captivity.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have always been an ardent opponent of captive dolphin facilities, but when I heard that a dolphin had been bornin captivity here in Cayman, I felt some encouragement that they may have got things right.  After all, unhappy animals don’t breed, right?  Then I found out that the female dolphin was pregnant when she arrived but none of the so-called experts realised this which is why the birth came as a complete surprise.  I accept the fact that the mother dolphin was already captive and was breeding so that gives me hope but the point is that this baby dolphin died here in Cayman and sadly this comes as no surprise to me.  It also confirms my personal opinion, and I’m sticking my neck out here, that there is clearly no-one on this island who knows anything about dolphins. 

  9. real people says:

       I think we should first see our own problems  we have between humans, as racism and poverty.

       stop being hypocrites…you are not the next "Steve Irwin", want to help? stop polluting the environment and animals will thank you twice.
        u should start worrying about respect for all life, (including humans). Its amazing how u can see someone in the street, maybe homeless, hungry, cold, and what do u do? what would you do??????? NOTHING!!!!!!! because you have your head full of sh!t and you are just looking whats everybody else doing.
    If you really wanna do something about it you should start on you!!!
    • Anonymous says:

       WELL SAID!!

      Finally somebody is thinking properly !

    • Canary in a Coal Mine says:

      12:06 thanks for that.  you’re right we’re thoughtless and uncaring i think we should round up all the creatures that appear to be homeless.  put all sea creatures in pools, all wild animals in pens, and all wild birds in cages.  and we’ll bring all the cold and hungry homeless people to your place!  thanks for the offer!  amen. bless you. could you provide an address?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry this place is on the way out, business is not that great as expected just another over ambitious project.

  11. Cove says:

    I highly recommend that anyone who believes that Dolphins held in captivity for human pleasure is an acceptable practice watches this film. 

    Personally before I watched it, I was unsure if it was a bad thing or not. Not anymore.

  12. Anonymous says:

    These facilities need to be closed now. This is a very cruel way to make money and does not reflect well on the Cayman Islands.

  13. realistic says:

    My question is: if the dolphins were born in captivity, what would happen if release them?

    i’m pretty sure they will die.
    it’s funny when people talk about the dolphins in captivity, and at home have a dog tied all day.
    • Anonymous says:

      two wrongs don’t make a right…

    • Anonymous says:

      If the captive bread dolphin was to be released into the wild it would do just fine finding food and a family pod.   Escaped dolphins from other facilities have been seen months and years later in good health.


      Dogs have been domesticated for about 4 thousand years.  They are happy with being in captivity.  and they do better than their ferrel counterparts.

      • Anonymous says:

         Ya are so WRONG!!!!

        please read something related with captive dolphins before posting any comment…

    • Caymanian 2 da Bone says:

      I fail to see the humour in keeping animals captive or them dying, please can you enlighten me

    • Anonymous says:

      The people who complain about the dolphins in captivity are NOT the people with a dog tied up all day.

      On that topic, what is with all the dogs here with no home?

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a shocker! The sooner these places are closed the better. It’s disgraceful.

  15. Anonymous says:

    we should close hospitals too, people die there too, these comments make every institution where a living creature dies a bad place may be all veterinary clinics too, sh… what are we going to do with all iguanas killed on the road??? or chicken??? and we should stop eating at wendys or burguer king they killed cows for that……..

    oh by the way animals in the wild die too…… just so you know…..

    very sad to see how little judgement people have… and most of all…no education

    • Anonymous says:


    • Red78 says:


      Your argument is so flawed that I barely know where to begin.  The problem is not death – yes, we all know that creatures die. The problem is that animals are being taken from the wild and kept purely for monetary gain. Zoo animals are used for education and breeding, and they are taken care of by experts in carefully designed enclosures. This is not the case with these dolphins.

      I will not even address your hospital/road kill argument. It saddens me to think there are people that are so clueless.

    • Anonymous says:

      The poster child for no education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations. You just posted the dumbest thing ever in the history of Cayman News Service (now that’s going some…..).

  16. Anonymous says:

    i beg everyone to boycott these facilities..

    i cannot believe in the 21st century we still capture these beutiful animals… keep them in big swimming pools and make them do circus tricks everyday for our ‘entertainment’

  17. Anonymous says:

    "Reported dead by her handlers". What kind of training were the handlers trying to give a 9 mo. old? Why did this infant require "handling" at all, given that the mother was giving her the care she needed.

    The grieving mother will not be comforted by her pod, (or family group) as they were subject to random capture, so there are probably dolphins from several different pods.

    I would not recommend release, however, until expert advice has been sought – and not the facility veterinarian.


  18. Anonymous says:

    The dolphin is better off dead than living in a pool the rest of its life.

    These places are a stain on this island, and the sooner they go the better.  If you want to see a dolphin, go into the ocean and find one to watch while diving or snorkeling.

    • Anonymous says:

      my friend dolphins born under human care are not fit to survive in the wild, they will die right away, i have a question for you: if people die in hospitals that makes them a bad hospital? or i forgot animals are eternal???? they are not supossed to die at some point? mmmhh i wonder how many human babies die a year at hospitals or for bad care of their parents?

      • Anonymous says:

        You are missing the point altogether. 

        Dolphins should not be born under what you call "human care"  in the first place.  I would call it human greed or maybe inhuman care.

        Comparing this pool to a hospital shows your ignorance.  Hospitals help sick people.  These pools make dolphins sick. 

        Pretty big difference…….



    • Pending says:

      Should they do the same for the turtle farm as well?

  19. Durrrr says:

    Why is this even news? Animals die every day – what makes this one special? I didn’t see an article about the rooster my dog killed last week, or the iguana I ran over the week before that. Sh!t, as they say, happens.

    • Ratzinger's Elephant says:

      Your dog killed a rooster last week???  Where was CNS?!?!?!?!  This is headline stuff!!

    • Anonymous says:


      It’s news because it’s a well known fact that dolphins die in captivity much younger and with more frequency than in the wild. Maybe you don’t care.

      It’s news because captive dolphin facilities are condemned by every conservation organisation in the world,including our own National Trust, and because we have two of these tacky dollar spinners on this island.

      It’s news because the film The Cove which recently won an Oscar showed the world the truth about the dolphinarium business, and the massive slaughter of dolphins which ensues after a few select animals are selected and sold off to dolphinarium chains, such as the ones we have in Cayman. 

      It’s news because a few weeks ago a trainer in Florida was dragged to her death by a killer whale which was demented by it’s sh!tty life turning tricks for hordes of unthinking, unfeeling humans. 

      Don’t take your kids to these places, it will teach them nothing except how to gawp at cruel and tasteless circus tricks. Instead, show them something real and beautiful (the coral reef on your doorstep perhaps).  Help them to develop an appreciation of the fragility and innate value of all life, roosters and iguanas included. 

















    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, "sh!t happens" but I am willing to bet from the little we learned about you in your miserable 3 line rant that a lot of "sh!t happens" to you. All the death you refer to including the dolphin was preventable by or caused by humans. Therein lies the news.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So sad! These facilities should be closed.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Born in a prison and died in a prison.


    What a terrible example of what Cayman is willing to do for an extra buck.

    • Pending says:

      In prison he would have been called a "lifer", but he wasn’t in prison now was he…

      He was in a tank in which he was born, but his parents probably told him of their days in the wild..but that would have been a lie..because they were born in captivity too.

    • Pending says:

      Not only Cayman, lots of countries have these facilities, in fact most countries if not all countries in the world have such faciltiies i.e. zoo’s and aquairums, and I bet you have been to one and spent your money there too…HYPOCRITE

  22. Carol Busby says:

    This is just the start of the dying proccess. It is the first to die and the first to be born incapative. I say release the Dolphins and shut down the dolphinariums. I pray everyday that no one goes to these places, and they all go broke and have to release these amazing creatures back into the wild. What a big mistake for the Cayman Islands to allow these to ever have been built. There is nothing Humane about these places none what so ever!

    And I say this about the Cayman Islands that I love so much

    The Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by  the way it’s animals are treated. And Cayman has a long way to go.

    I will pray for all the Animals of the Cayman Islands

    • Pending says:

      At the same time they release all the dolphins back into the wild, they should do the same for all the zoo’s around the world too and let all the animals be free.

      All pet owners aorund the world should release all their animals back into the wild as well so they can all be free.

      I think that we should let all the animals decide if they like being fed like kings, being treated like super stars and having all the luxuries of life or whether they would rather  be in the wild, having to look for food, sometimes for days or weeks, sometimes they even starve (because animals don’t die on a regular basis in the wild..having to fight each other to the death for terriotory or having to deal with even bigger animals that like to eat them.

      Hang on I am going to go up to West Bay and do an interview with the dolphins cause I can speak dolphin and I will get back to you all…

      • Shock and Awe says:

        The dolphins will ignore you Pending.  You’re too stupid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes Pending, go talk to the dolphins. If you display the same level of intelligence to them, they will have a good laugh which I’m sure they could use.

    • Anonymous says:

      you’re completely nuts….the moral progress and greatness of a nation is jusdged by the treatment of animals?  thats the type of blinkered belief that kills a nation….how about judging first on its treatment of humans, human rights, religious tolerance, secular transparency and maybe even clean and honest political abilities…once you got all that, then we can save the dolphins…..its all about priorities……yours are a bit backward

      • Anonymous says:

        She was quoting Ghandi. Christ you and your type in cayman are so effing callous and IGNORANT it’s pitiful

      • Anonymous says:

        "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats it’s animals": Mohandas Ghandi.

        and another backward, nation killing nutcase….

        "Until mankind can extend the circle of compassion to include all living things, he will never, himself, know peace". Albert Schweitzer

  23. Baby J says:

    I hope that the baby Dolphin and Freedom Ebanks, the other baby dolphin that died, can be friends in heaven. There are no pens, cages and trainers in heaven. Happy frolicking little dolphin. Baby Jesus loves you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are children reading and posting on CNS now?


      • Pending says:

        On a daily basis, clearly you do not read CNS to often or better yet don’t understand sarcasm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Baby Jesus will only love the dolphin if the dolhphin had accepted Jesus into his heart before he died.

      Otherwise Baby Dolphin will have gone to Dolphin Hell.

      Dolphin Hell is a dolphinarium in West Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

      • Pending says:

        It’s actually down the road from Hell gas station, Hell Visitors Center and the Inferno Bar…

      • Anonymous says:


        One of the most stupid comments ever, keep baby Jesus away…..


    • Anonymous says:

      …and everyone has a mansion there……sounds terribly chaotic.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is why they should be left in the wild. 

  25. Anonymous says:

    depression is a killer