Arizona facility closes after 4 dolphins die in less than 2 years
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An aquatic facility in Arizona is closing after four dolphins died within a year and a half.

ABC 15 Arizona reported Wednesday that Dolphinaris Arizona will temporarily close this week for an undisclosed period of time to bring in experts to reevaluate the facility.


“We are heartbroken by the loss of our dolphin friends and are grateful to the efforts of our staff and partners during these difficult times — especially our trainers, who have given so much love, time and energy to caring for our dolphins and educating our guests,” general manager Christian Schaeffer de Leon said in a statement.

“We hope to find a long term solution for the welfare of our dolphins,” he added.

"We recognize losing four dolphins over the last year and a half is abnormal," de Leon added in a statement to CNN. "We will be taking proactive measures to increase our collaborative efforts to further ensure our dolphins' wellbeing and high quality of life."

Veterinarians, pathologists, water quality experts and animal behavior specialists are reportedly being brought in to examine the facility.

The most recent dolphin death was reported late last month after a 22-year-old bottlenose dolphin named Kai had to be euthanized. The outlet reported that the dolphin struggled to swim, eat and breathe, adding that its autopsy results are being analyzed.

Dolphinaris, which opened in 2016, describes itself as "one of the world's leading providers of dolphin experiences." The company operates dolphin habitats at five other locations in Mexico.

Dolphin Quest, a company that loans the aquatic mammals to Dolphinaris, said it would be terminating its loan agreement.

In a statement Tuesday, Dolphinaris said two of its remaining four dolphins on loan from Dolphin Quest would be transferred back to the company.