Drone footage of a dolphin at Miami Seaquarium.

Miami Seaquarium: New Drone Footage of Animals in Filthy Tanks Sparks Outrage



New drone footage, obtained by World Animal Protection US from an anonymous source, of Miami Seaquarium shows the animals are still living in deplorable conditions.

World Animal Protection has obtained new drone footage showing dolphins, rays, and sharks swimming in barren, filthy concrete pools the week before the Miami Seaquarium is supposed to be evicted.

Miami Seaquarium, which has been cited multiple times by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for poor water quality, dilapidated enclosures, crumbling tanks, and lack of veterinary support, has vowed to fight the eviction that Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine-Cava imposed in March 2024. The Dolphin Company, the parent company of Miami Seaquarium, was given an eviction date of April 21, 2024 to vacate the county’s property—yet hasn’t made any effort to relocate the animals. 

This new drone footage, received by World Animal Protection US anonymously, shows The Dolphin Company continues to make animals suffer at the Miami Seaquarium for profits despite warnings of animal confiscation and eviction by government officials. Currently, the Miami Seaquarium is also past due on its rent to Miami-Dade County totaling nearly $88,000.

The drone footage also captured sharks, rays, and fishes swimming in a tiny concrete tank that appears to have poor water quality, which the venue had been previously cited for by the USDA.

It’s clear the Miami Seaquarium and The Dolphin Company don’t care about the animals living at the Miami-Dade venue as they continue to exploit animals for profit without even providing the necessary equipment for their staff to perform proper veterinary procedures.

Earlier this month, Bud, Miami Seaquarium’s sea lion, died at the facility, the third animal to die so far this year. Court records suggest that Bud may have been grappling with kidney disease. Prior to his demise, Miami Seaquarium’s previous veterinarian had requested a CT scan for him. The potential delay in diagnosing his condition may have contributed to Bud being among the four animals slated for confiscation by the United States Department of Agriculture in its notice issued on January 19, 2024.

The previous veterinarian—who recently resigned due to animal welfare concerns—had also noted that they suspected several dolphins may have ulcers, but was unable to perform an endoscopy because the venue had not provided them with an endoscope along with other appropriate facilities, equipment, and services necessary to perform diagnostic tests.

Elelo, a pacific white-sided dolphin, was specifically noted as having undergone treatment for foreign body ingestion, and seven months after that treatment and recommendation by the attending veterinarian to transfer him to another facility, the venue still had not done so, keeping Elelo at “repeated risk of foreign body ingestion.”

Sushi, a female sea lion, was euthanized on January 16, 2024, a close source familiar with the venue told World Animal Protection. Sushi needed corrective eye surgery, but no surgeries could be done because the anesthesiologist and the surgeon had not been paid.

Ultimately, cancer was found in Sushi, which disqualified her from any eye surgery, and the venue euthanized her.

A dolphin named Sundance also recently died at the venue two days after being forced to perform the Christmas Flipper Show. The November USDA inspection stated “the attending veterinarian has concerns that several dolphins (Ripley, Panama, Onyx, and Sundance) are showing signs of gastric distress.” Miami Seaquarium was informed that Sundance was having health concerns, yet forced him to perform until just before his death anyway.

More than 120 animals have died at Miami Seaquarium to date.

Take action today and urge Eduardo Albor, CEO of The Dolphin Company, to relinquish the animals currently suffering at Miami Seaquarium venues to sanctuaries, or where sanctuaries do not exist, to reputable facilities that do not force animals to perform or interact with visitors.

Send Eduardo Albor an email now

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