Las Vegas attraction closed after death of third dolphin in 5 months

A dolphin habitat at a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has been temporarily closed after the third death of a mammal at the attraction in five months.

Mirage Secret Garden and Habitat officials said an 11-year-old bottlenose dolphin named K2 died on Saturday.

The cause of death remains unclear, but authorities told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the mammal had been receiving treatment for a respiratory illness.

They say Maverick, a 19-year-old bottlenose dolphin, died on September 2 after being treated for a lung infection, while 13-year-old Bella died in April after undergoing treatment for gastroenteritis.

According to the website of the international organization Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, the life expectancy of a bottlenose dolphin is about 28 to 29 years.

Mirage interim president Franz Kallao said officials were working closely with veterinary and pathology experts to determine the cause of death for K2, who was born in the Secret Garden.

“We are also working with additional external veterinary, water quality, behavior, animal welfare and environmental experts to help us conduct a thorough review and inspection of both the animals and the facility,” Kallao added.

In February 2019, the four remaining bottlenose dolphins at a Phoenix-area aquatic facility were moved to a new home in the Caribbean after four deaths at Dolphinaris Arizona since it opened in 2016.