Aicko, a young male dolphin held captive in a marine park in the North-West of France, has passed away.
Aicko, who was six, was often kept isolated in a tank and animal rights groups are now preparing to sue the park on the grounds of animal abuse.
Despite the park’s officials stating that Aicko died of an illness, reports have surfaced recently that claim he was becoming more and more distressed after being taken away from his mother and moved from Parc Astérix to Planète Sauvage in January 2015.
In a report compiled by captivity specialist, Naomi Rose, she stated that never before had she seen ‘a dolphin as thin in captivity. His body is entirely covered in tooth marks, raked much deeper into his skin than the other dolphins in the park.’
Other reports suggest that Aicko had become more and more isolated from the group of adult dolphins, who were using him as a ‘punching bag’.
Since its opening, in 2009, four dolphins have died at the marine park. In 2011, Thea died aged 19, Minimo aged 8, and another young dolphin died in August 2015.