Thursday, 12. December 2013 - 03:12
11. 11. 11. - 16:00
Wildlife experts have accused a marine park of killing a dolphin after allowing a deafening rave party to be held in the attraction just a few yards from the mammal's pool.
Shadow - an eight year old dolphin - was found dead after appearing disoriented and distressed following the huge techno dance party.
Campaigners had warned licensing authorities in Lipperswil, Switzerland, that the Connyland aquarium's dolphins could be severely affected by the stress of being so close to the event.
However the Veterinary Office from canton Thurgau saw no reason to ban the party, arguing that the facility where it would take place was built in such a way that the noise from outside would not disturb the dolphins.
The campaigners claim the hardcore techno party which lasted two days is thought to have affected the dolphins immune system – which in turn lead to the death of Shadow.
Animal activists from Germany and Switzerland were at the site on the night of the rave and protested against what they saw was cruelty towards the animals.
Animal activists from the German organizations ProWal and The Whale and Dolphin Protection Society recorded the sound and found the vibrations from the noise could be felt outside of the park – so without a doubt would have been heard by the dolphins.
Andreas Morlok from Prowal said: "We recorded noise levels of over 100 decibels outside of the park and away from the party area. We know the party took place close to the dolphin enclosure.
"The sound levels which would have been heard by the dolphins is comparable with that of a pneumatic drill on top volume. Before the event we warned of these noise levels and the damage which could be done and called for the event to be called off"
A few days after the event Shadow became very agitated. The trainer tried to calm Shadow down, but just minutes later Shadow stopped breathing and then his heart stopped beating.
OceanCare pressure group president Sigrid Luber said:"It is unacceptable for the well-being of animals to be sacrificed in favour of profits with the blessing of the authorities.
"This is the seventh dolphin to die in this amusement park in only three years. It is completely unacceptable."
Jürgen Ortmüller from the Whale and Dolphin Protection Society claimed: "We have reasonable evidence to suggest that the extreme noise levels from the two day techno party severely affected the immune system of the dolphins. Dolphins are very sensitive creatures. We warned against a techno party taking place in this location for these very reasons."
Connyland - which denies any wrong doing - has asked for an autopsy on the dolphin to establish the cause of death.
Vet Paul has confirmed it will take three to four weeks for the results of the autopsy.
Connyland's vet said: "I was there and the noise would not have affected the animals. You could hardly hear anything. Connyland takes the care of its animals very seriously and they are looked after very well."
Meanwhile animal protection activists are calling fr a general ban on importing dolphins into Switzerland.
Ortmüller said: "We are taking action. We are getting politicians on board. We have to stop the ignorance on what is going on here. Only if people take notice will we be able to stop the dolphins dying. We are pushing for an import ban on dolphins into Switzerland."
Seven dolphins including three babies have died in Connyland in the last three years. Many of the causes of death are still unexplained.
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