Six Flags Sadie.jpg

 

Thirteen dolphins have died since Six Flags took over the Park in 1997, all prematurely from captivity-related causes.  

According to Michael Muraco, who was employed as the Director of Animal Care at Six Flags from 2007 to 2014, the marine mammals were not fed proper diets. Also, the water system for the dolphins was inadequate for the size of the facility and didn’t work properly. The ozone generator failed, leaching hazardous chemicals into the pool. Six Flags compensated for the lack of ozone by raising the levels of chlorine.  A USDA Inspection Report attributed poor water quality to “recurring respiratory issues, eye problems, and fungal infections” in adult dolphins and to the deaths of two dolphin calves in 2014.  An eight-year-old dolphin died in October 2015.

Over and over, Muraco complained to higher management about the water-quality issues that were making the dolphins sick and killing them.  For years, promises to improve the water-quality system were given, but no improvements were made. 

Muraco, who was fired for blowing the whistle to the USDA about the many issues that violated federal regulations, reported in court documents that the Park was not putting enough salt in the salt water. Half of the dolphins were in pools with no temperature control, and the water temperature had gotten dangerously low and higher than 95 degrees, putting the dolphins at risk. Medication was used in lieu of proper training and medical care, and the dolphins were addicted to unnecessary drugs. 

  This dolphin at Six Flags has been raked by another dolphin.  In the vast ocean, dolphins can avoid other dolphins who rake them.  At Six Flags, there is no way for this dolphin to escape his tormentors.   Cetaceans in captivity are continuously raked, chased, and bullied by each other.                                                     

This dolphin at Six Flags has been raked by another dolphin.  In the vast ocean, dolphins can avoid other dolphins who rake them.  At Six Flags, there is no way for this dolphin to escape his tormentors.  Cetaceans in captivity are continuously raked, chased, and bullied by each other.                                                    

  These photos were taken in July 2014 and show Semo ramming Alia, a much smaller dolphin, again and again. It is no wonder he is unhappy and aggressive. He was captured from the wild in 1969 and transferred from one chlorinated, concrete pool to to another in five different facilities around the United States: He went from the Atlantic Ocean to Marineland of the Pacific in LA County, then to Sea World in San Diego, then Sea World in San Antonio, then to the Minnesota Zoo and finally Six Flags in 2012.   Any attempt Semo may have made to integrate into groups of other captive dolphins at the various facilities was doomed by the many transfers.  His existence in captivity may have also cost him his sanity.  

These photos were taken in July 2014 and show Semo ramming Alia, a much smaller dolphin, again and again. It is no wonder he is unhappy and aggressive. He was captured from the wild in 1969 and transferred from one chlorinated, concrete pool to to another in five different facilities around the United States: He went from the Atlantic Ocean to Marineland of the Pacific in LA County, then to Sea World in San Diego, then Sea World in San Antonio, then to the Minnesota Zoo and finally Six Flags in 2012. Any attempt Semo may have made to integrate into groups of other captive dolphins at the various facilities was doomed by the many transfers.  His existence in captivity may have also cost him his sanity.