Dolphin dies during performance at theme park

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Dolphin Pool at Discovery Cove.
Image: Michael Lowin.

A dolphin has died after a collision with another dolphin in mid-air during a stunt performance at Discovery Cove, a sister park of SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. This is the first time an incident of this nature has ever occurred since the park opened in 2000.

The dolphin, a 30-year-old female named 'Sharky' collided in mid-air, head on, with her co-performer 'Tyler', a 13-year-old male, during a live show at the park on Saturday April 26. Sharky died a short time later after suffering head injuries. Tyler was not injured, but is still being observed closely.

Both dolphins have successfully completed the stunt over 100 previous times, but this time it is reported that Sharky miscalculated her jump. At least 30 people were watching the show when they collided.

"This is a very unfortunate and very rare incident. While it is not unusual to have two animals performing at the same time, we are reviewing the situation to ensure even such a random incident does not occur again. We never had animals collide before," said a spokeswoman for the park, Becca Bides.