LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas Strip resort the Mirage announced it is returning its dolphins to SeaWorld.
Joe Lupo president of the Mirage made the announcement on Tuesday, which read in part, “We are returning the dolphins to SeaWorld in San Diego in accordance with Mirage’s contractual commitment to do so when SeaWorld originally loaned these dolphins to the Mirage Dolphin Habitat.”
Dolphins Karli, Sofi, and Osborne have already been relocated to SeaWorld. Three dolphins currently remain on the property site at this time.
The statement went on to describe the partnership the resort has with SeaWorld.
Three weeks ago “Duchess,” one of five original dolphins at the Mirage died.
She was the fourth dolphin to die at the resort’s Secret Garden and habitat attraction in less than a year.
Last April, 13-year-old Bella, who was Duchess’ granddaughter, died after undergoing treatment for gastroenteritis for several weeks. In early September, 19-year-old Maverick died following treatment for a lung infection. Weeks later, 11-year-old K2 died while in the process of receiving treatment for a respiratory illness.
The facility temporarily closed after K2’s death before its permanent closure was announced last November.
MGM had previously announced it was going to sell The Mirage to Hard Rock International. Hard Rock’s leadership team announced it would eventually permanently close the habitat before beginning construction of the Guitar Hotel and other planned redevelopments, according to a letter sent to Mirage employees.
The full statement on Tuesday’s announcement from the Mirage is listed below.
The care of the dolphins at The Mirage has always been the highest priority for both Hard Rock and MGM. We are returning the dolphins to SeaWorld in San Diego in accordance with Mirage’s contractual commitment to do so when SeaWorld originally loaned these dolphins to The Mirage Dolphin Habitat. We are grateful for their partnership and know they will be in great hands back with SeaWorld which is an accredited zoo providing world-class care that is audited, regulated and certified by independent animal welfare experts. We would like to thank The Mirage and SeaWorld team members for their efforts in this relocation, as well as MGM for its continued involvement in this process.
Joe Lupo, President – The Mirage