Bermuda-born Dolphin Dies After Accident

September 16, 2011

nea dolphinOn Monday [Sept.12], Nea – a four-year-old dolphin born in Bermuda – died after colliding with another dolphin at a Chicago Zoo.

Fox Chicago reports that, “No one saw what happened, but her trainers heard a loud pop and jumped into the water. They found Nea unresponsive and attempted CPR. Veterinary staff arrived within 10 minutes to assist, but they were not able revive the dolphin.”

“Preliminary results of an animal autopsy performed later Monday indicated a fractured skull. Zoo experts believe that Nea received her fatal injuries from colliding with another dolphin rather than a hard fixed object, which would have caused scrapes or bruises.”

A statement from Brookfield Zoo said, “We are mourning the tragic loss of Nea, a 4-year-old female bottlenose dolphin at Brookfield Zoo. Nea died suddenly just before the 1 p.m. dolphin show on Monday, Sept. 5.”

“Thanks to everybody who posted their thoughts about Nea and well wishes for dolphin training staff. Zoo staff, especially those who worked with our marine mammals, are devastated by the loss and we will pass along your condolences.”

“On Monday, marine mammal staff responded immediately on hearing a loud pop, and when they noticed that she appeared injured, trainers jumped into the water and made heroic attempts to save Nea by performing CPR. Veterinary staff arrived in less than 10 minutes to assist, but Nea remained unresponsive.”

“Although no one witnessed this freak incident, based on the preliminary findings, it is believed that Nea sustained her fatal injuries from an accidental collision with another dolphin. Zoo pathologists performed an animal autopsy to determine the cause of death and preliminary results indicate a fractured skull.”

Nea was born at Dolphinquest in Bermuda and taken to the Brookfield Zoo at age 3. The dolphin’s death has sparked debate about keeping dolphins in captivity.

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Category: All, Environment

Comments (7)

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  1. Yeah but wait... says:

    So sorry to hear about Nea’s death. I was one of the volunteers at her birth and count seeing that as one of the life affiriming experiences I have had to date.

  2. Really? says:

    Maybe it was suicide? Caged wild animal being forced into doing shows.

    • Bob says:

      Agree, poor things, people should lock themselves in a closet for a week then see how they feel about penning these beautiful creatures

  3. Onion says:

    She was born in captivity. She wasn’t “wild”.

  4. Steph says:

    She was also taken away from her monther at age 2 – 2 years before she would have in the ‘wild’. Dolphins are one of the smartest creatures on this planet, just because she was born in captivity doesn’t mean that keeping animals in a space less than 100th of where they would be able to go in the wild is right.
    Watch ‘The Cove’ and see how much you agree with keeping these animals in captivity.

  5. Kim Smith says:

    @Onion – I’m sure you use that argument to avoid having to accept the reality but, please, it would take many generations of breeding in captivity to destroy the animal’s instincts and basic physical needs… including the one that is being violated in Bermuda (and other places) by inhumanely ‘storing’ them up there in totally inadequate space of the Dockyard Keep.

  6. It doesn't matter says:

    Well actually you are all wrong, allow me to clarify. You see the dolphin quest lagoon in Bermuda is perfect for our species of bottlenosed dolphins. These like waters of up to 9 feet deep, and won’t go deeper than that. Also we had opened up the gate to allow the dolphins to swim out in the ocean and do training there, however they (the dolphins) chose not to swim out, despite our efforts. On top of that, the dolphins participation in our programs are completely voluntary. We ask them to participate and they can refuse if they feel like it. I just wanted to clarify this for any readers who happen upon this article as I did. Good day all, and if you have any further questions you are welcome to call dolphin quest instead of falsely speculating.