Dolphinaris Arizona is deeply saddened to announce the death of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin named Khloe. The female dolphin died Dec. 30 following a long, chronic illness that had affected her over the last six years. The 11-year-old Khloe joined Dolphinaris Arizona in 2016.
“This is an extremely sad day for our team at Dolphinaris Arizona,” said Christian Schaeffer, General Manager. “Prior to her arrival at Dolphinaris, Khloe struggled with chronic illness due to a parasite called Sarcocystis, which can affect mammals, including dolphins. This infection usually causes severe central nervous system and muscle disease, as well as weakens the immune system to other pathogens. Her condition has been managed with exceptional veterinary care for nearly six years as we called on dolphin experts globally to determine treatments that extended her life.”
When Khloe’s caregivers recently noticed her health again showing signs of decline, they took every action possible to try and save her. The mortality rate of Sarcocystis is very high, and very little is known by the veterinarian community about the disease process in dolphins, which can also affect dolphins living in the ocean.
A necropsy (animal autopsy) will be conducted and Dolphinaris Arizona will share those findings with the global veterinary community in the hopes the information can aid in the treatment of other mammals affected by Sarcocystis.
The other dolphins living at Dolphinaris are all doing well.
The Dolphinaris staff appreciates the condolences and support from the community during this difficult time.