Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Baby dolphin dies at Minnesota Zoo

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - The staff and friends of the Minnesota Zoo are mourning the death of a new dolphin calf who passed away Monday after coming down with a sudden illness.

Taijah the baby dolphin began showing signs of acute illness early Monday morning. The zoo's marine mammal staff and veterinarians began working around the clock to monitor and treat Taijah after she showed signs of being sick.

An ultrasound performed that day showed fluid in the stomach and Taijah was immediately put on medication and seemed to be stable until her condition deteriorated late Monday evening.

She later died of the sudden and acute illness.

"This is a very sad day at the Minnesota Zoo," said the Zoo's Director of Biological Programs Kevin Willis. "Known for her spunky personality and playful antics, Taijah was a favorite among staff and guests alike. She was a bright spot in anyone's day."

Taijah was the calf of 24-year-old Allie, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin who has been at the Zoo since 2008, and Semo, age 48. She was born in 2010 as part of a cooperative breeding program designed to increase the size and genetic diversity of the population.

A necropsy, the animal version of an autopsy, will be performed today to determine the cause of death.


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