Fourth Mirage dolphin dies in less than a year

By: - January 25, 2023 3:15 pm
dolphin calf

Duchess was the oldest dolphin at the Mirage. Bella, pictured above with her calf, died at the at the Mirage in 2019 at age 13. (MGM Resorts press photo).

Duchess, the longest surviving dolphin at the Mirage exhibit, is dead according to a statement released by the hotel’s president, Joe Lupo. 

“I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Mirage animal care team and the veterinary experts who worked tirelessly to ensure Duchess was loved, received the highest quality care, and was as comfortable as possible,” Lupo wrote.

Duchess, believed to have been born in 1975, was captured in September 1981 in the Gulf of Mexico, off Texas, according to Cetabase, a database that tracks cetaceans worldwide. She arrived at the Mirage in Oct.1990 from Zoovet/Hawk’s Cay in Florida. 

Duchess is the fourth Mirage dolphin to die in the last year. Maverick, 19, and K2, 11, died in September 2022, and Bella, 13, died in April 2022. The Mirage dolphins have lived, on average, far fewer years than their life expectancy. 

The Hard Rock, which purchased the Mirage, has announced it will eliminate the exhibit, but has not specified what is to become of the surviving dolphins.

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.