In December 2022, Hard Rock International acquired MGM’s Mirage. They also made it clear that Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat would soon be shut down.
There were six dolphins living in the habitat at the time. A few months later, on February 14th, the Mirage announced they would send three dolphins back to their owners at SeaWorld San Diego. The remaining three will be relocated soon.
The President of the Mirage, Joe Lupo, stated that they were legally required to return the dolphins to SeaWorld San Diego since they were loaned to Siegfried and Roy’s Dolphin Habitat exhibition. According to the loan agreement, the dolphins would be returned to SeaWorld San Diego if the exhibit was closed.
The Rising Number of Deaths
The Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage was actually in the process of shutting down before the Hard Rock officially took over. In September 2022, concerns due to the rising number of dolphin deaths. Four dolphins died within a year, prompting PETA activists to demand that the dolphins be moved to a more suitable habitat. The last dolphin passed away from an illness.
Well-trained animal care professionals and veterinary experts will continue to look after the animals wherever they go.
In the wild, dolphins’ average life expectancy ranges from 40 to 60 years old. Their life expectancy in U.S. zoological facilities is only around 28-29 years old. The current average age of dolphins in the Mirage is eight years. Eleven dolphins born there died. Dolphin advocates are calling for more wildlife protection and less exploitation of wildlife.