7 min read

Dolphins Suffering Under Desert Sun Without Any Relief

<p>CO Leong / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-896976/stock-photo-dolphin.html" target="_blank">Shutterstock</a></p>

At The Mirage Casino-Resort in Las Vegas there are currently ten dolphins swimming in circles, waiting listlessly at closed gates, beaching themselves, bored and stressed beyond comprehension in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Three of these ten bottlenose dolphins come from various SeaWorld facilities on "Breeding Loan" and two dolphins were stolen from the wild. Tropical marine mammals in the middle of the desert, thousands of miles away from their natural home in the Atlantic Ocean. They truly have been dying to entertain ... for the past two decades.

Photo: Free The Mojave Dolphins

With a 55 percent mortality rate since opening in 1990, 12 out of their historical 22 dolphins have died. With no shade for these ten dolphins to retrieve to from the hot desert sun, The Mirage has never once been cited for this Animal Welfare Act Regulation.

Photo: Free The Mojave Dolphins

Earlier this month, comedian Joe Rogan spoke out against dolphin captivity at The Mirage to The Las Vegas Review Journal. Rogan, who had a show scheduled at The Mirage Room, a theater that hosts the "Aces of Comedy" comedians decided to switch venues due to his opinions against dolphin captivity.

The Aces of Comedy is an ongoing show at The Mirage showcasing a lineup of comedians performing at "The Mirage Room," including the biggest names in comedy. Comedians such as Jay Leno, Nick Swardson, Ray Romano, Ron White, Daniel Tosh and Tim Allen all have upcoming events at The Mirage.

Photo: Free The Mojave Dolphins

The Mojave Dolphins Campaign has recently heard from comedian Nick Swardson, who is scheduled to perform Oct. 9, and has agreed to look into the effects of dolphin captivity and the emotional and physical suffering dolphins endure at The Mirage's Dolphin Habitat.

We at Free The Mojave Dolphins have had a call to action in place to contact the upcoming comedians urging them to do the same as Joe Rogan and change venues for their shows with letter templates and pre-automated tweets directed at each comedian.

Not only is The Mirage having to deal with the PR nightmare of acts canceling due to the dolphins, they were also inspected by the USDA in late June after a lack of shade complaint was submitted by Mojave Dolphins. The inspection yielded a citing for sanitation under 3.107 (b) of the Animal Welfare act stating:

"Food preparation/kitchen: There was a brownish-yellow, raised, foamy substance attached to an area near a pipe at the junction between the wall and the ceiling."

The citation was to be corrected by July 16 but there has been no follow up from the USDA on whether this sanitation violation has been resolved.

The inspection was prepared by USDA, APHIS, and Animal Care Veterinarian Tyler Fields who is a local Las Vegas small animal veterinarian with no known expertise on marine mammals. Please copy and paste the letter below to an email to APHIS representative Robert Gibbens at Robert.m.gibbens@usda.gov asking them to send a qualified Marine Mammal Veterinarian to follow up on the sanitation violation that should have been corrected.

"Dear Mr. Gibbens,

I am asking that USDA follow up on complaint AC15-406 regarding the inspection done at The Mirage (3456) Certificate number (88-C-0074) on June 30th 2015. According to the inspection report, there was a sanitation violation that was to be corrected by 7/16/15 but no follow up was done to make sure the citation was corrected.

I also request that this inspection and all future inspections at The Mirage is done by an inspector with marine mammal expertise.

Thank you."

Free The Mojave Dolphins' next demonstration is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Mirage.

Dolphins don't belong in Las Vegas. Please don't buy a ticket to a dolphin show, boycott The Mirage and visit Mojave Dolphins to get involved.