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Image: Peter Flood

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Antibiotics Killed Swiss Captive Dolphins

An evaluation by the Institute for Veterinarian Pathology has revealed that the use of antibiotics on two dolphins (“Chelmers” and “Shadow”) at the Connyland dolphinarium, Switzerland last November caused brain damage which then led to their deaths. An investigation into procedures followed by the vets responsible for the two dolphins is now underway.

The dolphinarium had previously accused animal activists of poisoning the dolphins.

WDCS has always been critical of the often intensive medicinal treatment of dolphins in zoos and entertainment parks.

“Highly dosed medicinal treatment is nothing unusual at dolphinaria”, says Dr. Karsten Brensing, conservation manager at WDCS Germany. “Furthermore, drugs are willingly used to control aggressions or improve the cooperation during the shows. One question remains: Who is responsible for the side effects? The vet who’s doing what he’s learned to or the keeper who is in charge for the insufficient keeping conditions?”

It remains to be seen if the evidence will result in consequences for the keeping of dolphins in Connyland as well as other dolphinaria in Europe.

Read the WDCS dolphinaria report here