The death of a young bottlenose dolphin at a Chicago zoo was
accidental, but some biologists say it shows why dolphins shouldn’t be kept in
captivity for entertainment.
The dolphin, a 4-year-old named Nea, died on the afternoon of Sept. 5 at the Brookfield
Zoo. According to a zoo press release, trainers heard “a loud pop” from the
pool, apparently the sound of two dolphins colliding. Nobody reported seeing the
collision, but it’s thought to have happened in the air as the animals jumped.
Nea died minutes later from a fractured skull.
Zoo officials described it as a “freak incident,” ascribing
it to typical roughhousing gone awry. But crowding dolphins into small,
unnatural environments makes accidents more likely, said Wild
Dolphin Project biologist Denise Herzing.
Read more: Wired Science