Thursday, February 3, 2011

14 dead dolphins at Las Vegas' MGM Mirage

In June of 2009, the Las Vegas Sun reported that the 14th dolphin since 1990 at the MGM Mirage died from complications of a lung infection in its marine facilities. That seems like a lot. sent the following to gain signatures on a petition:

The dolphins are trapped in a concrete pool next to a highway. They breathe in fumes and smog day after day. There's no protection from the desert heat or the winter snow. Seventy-five percent die prematurely. 
This is the horrifying existence of the dolphins at The Mirage Hotel and Casino's "Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat." Imprisoned in pools that are too shallow and too small, they're forced to do mindless tricks for high-paying guests day after day – until they develop respiratory infections and diseases that claim their lives.
No creature should be treated this way. Tell The Mirage to end its cruelty to dolphins.
Animal protection organizations have appealed to the National Marine Fisheries Service to deny The Mirage's requests for more dolphins, but as more and more dolphins die -- the death count is now at 14 -- the Mirage keeps "restocking" its exhibit.
This isn't the first time The Mirage has faced criticism for its reprehensible treatment of animals. In the past, The Mirage housed tigers in the building -- but due to large opposition from the public, the casino is now tiger-free.
This set a clear precedent: If The Mirage believes the public fallout will be worse than the profits it makes from its mistreated animals, it will stop its despicable behavior.
Together, we can build the pressure needed to free The Mirage's dolphins. Sign this petition today to tell The Mirage to stop imprisoning, mistreating, and causing the deaths of dolphins:
 Thanks for taking action,
-- Judith and the Team
P.S. Once you add your name, click here to share this campaign on Facebook. To win against The Mirage, we'll need a lot more people to know about the deadly conditions these dolphins face.

The Mirage responded to petitioners as follows:

Thank you for asking about our dolphins. The Dolphin Habitat upholds the highest professional values for the care of our animals. The Habitat is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), a well-respected international association dedicated to the conservation and protection of marine mammals and the members of our Habitat staff are each specially trained animal care experts. 

Millions of children and adults visit the Habitat each year to enjoy an up-close and educational experience that creates an emotional bond between the guests and the dolphins – a connection that inspires our guests to care about the conservation of these animals in the wild, and the protection of the oceans in which they live.
It is important to note that none of the dolphins living at the Habitat came from Japan or any drive fishery. Additionally 70 percent of the dolphins in the US have been born at marine parks in the US .

Our facility undergoes comprehensive annual on-site inspections by the US Department of Agriculture and is in full compliance with all regulations.
Thank you again for writing.

Yvette Monet
The Mirage Public Affairs

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